There’s another story to the one that is written,
emphasizing blank space rather than substance,
with rare feelings of bliss in this swirling mess of decision.
Without direction to witness the drifting,
places and languages change yet are still understood
to be suggestive and undefined, with nothing to turn to
for the ones leaving with a swift exit, perhaps understanding
that they cannot enclose the fleeting.
The great lengths they would go to fill the contours of dreams,
as buses follow highways and guides follow streams,
they’re pressing on. Shells to the back,
slick was the path over the residue of what they would lack,
being strangers in a strange world.
Crossing borders, one after the other,
like the blind following the blind,
no words no guard rails to guide them
beyond mountains into vast distances,
where mysteries are scattered
monasteries of smokey silences
in the snow-capped peaks above Arequipa.
They appear like a mirage from out of the clouds
when soaked in the sun going down,
settling into every crack and spire,
gripped by those feelings of awe
they’ve gone great lengths to desire.
Up and down the Pan America
clinging to cliffs and tomorrow,
traveling lightly and unattached
to the heavy burden of sorrow,
to heat and cold lack of communication,
through outposts too remote to resemble
that which brings the sweet scent of ginger,
replaced by the smell of burning trash,
a pungent scent that unburdens the past
of all that is no longer portable
and cannot be fit in a pack,
to drag what is necessary
from bus to hostal
from boat to barrio
down pushcart streets
whose voices greet the silence
with peddling “pescado”.
They drag their tired frame to the next shelter,
waiting out the rain and the passing weather,
to follow the sparkling of stones
up to another in a long line of temporary homes.
The length of their stay, perhaps one night unknown.