the backcountry.

I am looking for the backcountry. I’m looking for it here, in suburbia; I’ve looked for it in the greatest city in the world. I seek it even when I’m standing right in the middle of its guts, in all their jungly, tangled glory. My eyes keep scanning.

What, where, who are you? Humid green breezes in your mouth, crushed grapes. Peach juice running down the long length of an arm. A glass of iced tea and the metallic smell of sweat and dirt mingling with unmistakable, ephemerally sunwarmed skin.

Wine just makes me sleepy, but I like the idea of it; purpled lips and fingertips, kisses under the blanket of a short night. Wine doesn’t help me find the backcountry. A song does, sometimes. A wind does, often. Words never do, they only foster poison envy; it wraps waxy tendrils of shoots and roots like Roman sandals over my feet; I’ll never walk anywhere again.

Inspiration spills from white thighs tumbling out of a car. From dust lingering on a diary and frostburned ice cream. It borders on the mundane turned even more mundane, then turned beautiful. Because it was first deconstructed, stripped of ego, honor, label—it had to have taken its last shuddering breath—then, and only then, was it mine to use.

Which is unfortunate, as things tend to hold onto themselves more dearly then necessary. Things. I find them here and there. There are things in the subway garbage, things in the weary lined face of the neighborhood baker at dawn. They shimmered and then faded, as quickly as a downcast turn of the eye. But there are always inward roads for beautiful girls. There is a green tree freckled with golden summer sunlight, visible only through a streaky window, for everyone. So close, but too far to touch.

Painting: Heavy Cloud, Anselm Kiefer


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