Betweenland

I don’t live in the present.
Merely between the past, a shadowbird
With its talons in my back and muffled caws of summer,
Tugging at tendons to make me wince
With those beady eyes, always counting eggs;
And the future, a vast turquoise lake
Of varied chemistry and unknown depth
Mist-sunk, vaguely glimmering
And topped with the cherry of a lone boat.
Meanwhile, stateside today is a dead letter.
I live in Betweenland.
Between plans- between jobs- between memory and promise
Between the message and the response.
Between the brusque full stop and the next chapter.
Between the glowing corners of the sky and the fullness of morning.
Between the phone call and the taxi throbbing waiting.
Between Ca2+ and acetylcholine.
I knew this place once-
But now I’ve returned, I don’t think I know its rules.
Is there a winning move?
Does it matter what I do?
Should I read, or climb mountains, or sleep with someone?
Should I tend my garden or start digging a tunnel?
Among the citizens of Betweenland are many question marks
Dancing around a fire, pulling obscene faces
Afraid of the world beyond their boundaries.
While the memory of the place fades in those that leave it,
Like the story of a dream, told badly to a bored coworker.
But I am not a fair observer
I am too cruel to Betweenland, because it has something crucial missing,
But it has good food and a stable currency,
And the right to defend its borders.
When I leave, although I may not remember
We will part with fondness, and I will squeeze the moment to me,
Before I fold into the mist.

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