Running, 37

Ever the dutiful traveler, I checked in early for this my thirty-eighth trip around the sun.Left foot, right foot clopping toward the setting blue moon, the rising red sun at my back, climbing the bridge, its stays suspended between competing disks of fire and light.

Ever the dutiful traveler,
I checked in early
for this my thirty-eighth
trip around the sun.

Left foot, right foot
clopping toward the setting blue moon,
the rising red sun at my back,
climbing the bridge,
its stays suspended
between competing
disks of fire and light.

The sun will win,
as it always does,
the day.
But even as it fades
behind the scrim
of humid, low clouds,
the moon
moves the water
below me,
tugs me forward, too.

Footfalls grow louder,
behind me
and now he has
passed me.
I am gaining on her,
and now huffing
good morning
as I pass.

The marsh below
swells
and leaks onto
the blacktop.
The sun will not
dry these tidal
potholes before
the moon
whisks them away.

Passing the railyard
I count the cars,
stopping only when it’s clear
that there are
more of them
than years of me.
I take this as a sign
of our shared prosperity.

And now back up
this manmade mountain
the sun is higher now,
is fading to a blinding
yellowhite.

The mouth of the Atlantic
is just below, just beyond.
Sweat drops into my eyes
and stings like the ocean.

We pass each other,
we say hello,
we say nothing,
we nod,
we smile,
we fail even to acknowledge.
All of us together,
tethered by invisible strings
to this ball,
tiny electrons orbiting
a single, pulsing
atom of rock
and sweat
and effort
and loss
and possibility.

You are here. But you could be here or here. I mean, if you aren't too busy.

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