DADT

Couldn’t ask permission
Wouldn’t tell anyone I was going.
Just rented a truck and left, without notice.
Up Highway One, a gently turning dream
Masking violence: a world ripped, abandoned
To that siren curve – as real as Home

Danced alone in San Francisco’s Castro district
In a sweaty tide of pilgrim stories twisting themselves free
Woke up alone in a truck bed somewhere in wine country
Found redwood rain refuge and Humboldt solace air
Dis-covered a self among black and blue abalone sands

Then up –

Miles of gravel, of rockslides, between pavement and trailhead
Days’ distance from eye contact, save a surprised condor and lucky elk
Above the marshmallow cream pools morning poured into valleys
Turned a corner around a stunted patch of summit berry bushes –
Not alone.

On my ledge, a lone black bear talked me out of my head
Between steps,
Between breaths steaming out my eardrums,
Between blood beats stalling in my neck
Taught me that I loved the curvature’s beauty more than its quiet hope
Ripped the tired story out my chest, but spared my body
Only you know where you are – and right now –
Those who don’t know, don’t matter.

And like that, I was free.

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