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  • Writer's picturecoralrivera

The Long Road: A [De]Composition

[This was a poem I wrote a year ago and one of the pieces I'm most proud of. I rarely write poetry - if you can even call it that, it's not my forte - but driving my long commute inspired me. Any guesses on what it's about/who the narrator is?]


I was whole. I basked in the sun. I relished in the way the sprigs of new wheat and tall grass touched my shoulders, my face, my skin. There are still fragments of it on me, even now.

I waited. In the end, we all take shortcuts. The long road seems so tiresome. My feet touched the pavement. I saw the mist coming off the lake in the early morning, a familiar ghost, a promise. One foot in front of the other, they told me. Their voices are echoes rattling in my bones and muscles, a cacophony of calcium and cartilage.

I just wanted the taste of life between my hands. I wanted to see the morning. Fill me in, rising sun. Fill me whole again.

The impact reminded me of birth. A light, a warmth, a strange place to wander into. The comfort always came later. I waited for it. Waited with shaking breath and twitching limbs and watering eyes. The moon began to leave my line of sight. I no longer felt the pull of galaxies and universes between my heartbeats. Fill me in stars, fill me in where the treads have emptied me.

I always thought too much. Weighted decisions seem so distant and pointless now. My brain is forced to stop now, to look around instead. Time is limited, yet long, full of visitors. I watched each one. Felt each one. Looked at their uncaring grimaces, and sometimes, words leaving their lips.

They do not know me. They do not know the stories I hold in my spirit. They only see me for what I am now, beneath them. I have lived and birthed and eaten and stole and given and killed. I have loved.

They want the long road. Some will take shortcuts like me. Some will be luckier.

The lake is far now, but I am not bitter. I have broken apart, but I am starting a new story. I have lost and grieved and wanted and cried and felt joy.

I am blood and bone and matter and hair on your wheels. What’s left of me feeds others. Fill me in, life, fill me into something new.

I am whole. I bask in the sun. I relish in the way I grow. I was once fragmented and jagged but now I am full. I am a piece of everything, everything a piece of me.

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