The summer swept me up
and she is following me.
I am walking through the forest,
and remembering a few days I spent
way too high and writing through July
I wondered if I’d finally become
the lady version of Jack Kerouac
that I’ve wanted to be since reading
On the Road in my senior year of high school.
When I was driving to and from Durham
all the road signs stood out to me like lightening,
like this place was completely new to me,
or like I hadn’t lived here since birth.
When I was a child and walked on this path to the stream
finding puff mushrooms that I always tried to stomp on too early…
they’d only puff if I waited longer,
past the last dry spell and to the end of August,
a month of spirit, bittersweet slippery.
Through the swamp, the boards for crossing it are submerging themselves
further into the black mud with every thunderstorm.
Feet wet now, I follow the dog through the dripping land.
At the stream I crouch folding my legs under me on the pebbled shore
reach forward to cup the stream’s water in my hands,
warm, letting it sift down and smelling earth inside.
I reach my hands up to slick the rosemary peppermint oil
back from my temples into the edge of my hair.
This is my beginning.