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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

Bus through Dubuque, Iowa


by Iris Orpi

This is the road that folds
the latitude of night
into brave passages
through fields of stirring,
the keen awareness of hurtling
through time, or whatever
stands in for time when
clocks are immaterial,
routine is far away, with
vestiges of the day eddying
on the shores of the never
been before, the perhaps
never will again.
Like confessing a savored sin,
the pleasure and the sinning
repeating in the telling,
where the starting point
is what you know and
the destination is what will be
left after the truth settles
in the ensuing silence,
next to elusive sleep.
Here is the town that is more
symbol of transition than place;
that was the glance that is
more a milestone:
you’ve come this far,
said the shadowed grazing green
counting all the ways what you
remember isn’t really what
had been. But still enough.
These are not the colors
I’ve seen before, back when
being lost meant believing
something larger lay past
the next hill, when being found
meant not needing to be
witnessed, except maybe by
my own words.
They had been enough.
This is the darkness of 1 a.m.
where the piercing of headlights
feels like a dance solo,
language of movement from
the memory of a hundred hours
rehearsing, flesh hypnosis,
grace flanked by danger
not carrying over the threshold,
just negotiating the miles
like an aleph,
like something delicate

Header photograph © Lesley-Anne Evans.

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