Loose arms, back straight, drive legs
Pretend like you are holding the worlds smallest potato chip
Heel toe heel toe
Drown out screaming hamstrings with guitar strings
these headphones are never loud enough.
Come on, you just started you can’t quit yet.
Suck it up buttercup.
Heel toe heel toe
cold invading core
Inhaling stomach pins and chest needles
It’s a brisk one
I pass those same tracks where we spent our first days
The rails shine as our song plays.
It’s been thirteen Mays
Since I was your mason jar
And you filled me with light
That jar was made of glass
And You mishandled it.
It broke and the insects you were collecting shot toward heaven.
I can’t look at the night sky without the thought of firefly-stars that once burned bright for us.
But I press on
Heel toe…heel toe
Into my next memory.
That coffee shop looks barren tonight
As I make an observational lap around it
Remembering that time
I crushed caffeine, philosophy and nicotine
And tried to see the future.
I thought that a pen and faded notepad would save me
Palms sweating, heart racing
I dart in front of cars. real life frogger.
In this same spot. as a boy.
It was wet and my growing feet did not match my small frame
And that black Acura was the face of God.
How am I alive? And on a night like tonight. Far from the finish and close to caving. I understand living. It is the space between those heavy breaths.
Right foot aching
The cigar bar comes into focus on my left.
I cannot help but stare
Men whose lungs are smokestacks.
Back straight, head up, they exhale grey ghosts
They recount stories of the 1982 World Series.
They shake bloodstained hands and talk about connections.
While their wives sit waiting next to cold abandoned dinners.
That could have been me.
Heel toe heel toe, halfway mark
Start to end, now halfway back to start
Run consumed by recollection
I head back toward the same direction
I pass 6 orange hands telling me not to walk
the aroma of coffee grounds overtakes me again
In the black water window I see a silhouette of my former self
Crushing caffeine, nicotine and Carnegie
Setting goals, setting goals, setting goals
to fill my lungs with purpose
And scream freedom from those necktie dreams.
re-read that black ink which is actually my heartbeat.
underlined. Wrong American Dream.
I never thought a pen and a faded notepad in a cafe could save my life
And just like my legs,
it took me from cigar bars and pant suits,
to coffee shops contemplating self worth.
We are worth it.
And sometimes it blindsides you at 9 p.m when you are fighting for that extra mile.
But I’m 12 in and surprisingly I have found my smile.
Left right left right, heel toe, heel toe
We keep running.
Not entirely sure exactly where,
But realizing that anywhere but here is somewhere
Because every step we recollect, is another step forward in retrospect.
Deep breath slow strides
Railroad finish lines
I’ve always hated trains because they never stray from their tracks.