My social ego is a patchwork quilt,
a fascinating happenstance tie-dye,
an accidental topiary
of trees and bushes that rush past
in the night, caught in frames
making shapes that were
never really there,
but you’d have to know the ecology
to recognize the real thing
from what your mind-trick says.
It hurts the most when
the misconceptions are held
by the one who knows you
better than anyone else,
is supposed to know you
shared the most (at least)…
and when every other moment
was in synchronicity,
but then that stumble happens,
that little dumb that trips everything up…
Tried to correct the misconception,
realized that it was not I
who was suffering from a
lack of concern.
The shadowy ghosts of giraffes and
lions and buffalo and tigers and deer
that really are deer
loitering on the side of the road,
they whiz past in my mind,
caught in the cast-off half-glow of the headlamps,
silent sentinels, uninterested observers,
marking yet another trip down this road,
and how many dozens of times have I been here before,
and every time, a little different.
Before, I have felt trepidation at
not knowing my destination,
but rarely have I felt that leaving
my origin might’ve been a mistake.
Mistakes are not big deal,
but only if you fix them as soon
as you realize them.
Sometimes people don’t know that.
They mistake a mesquite bush for a tank
or a tall cactus for man-spider, Anansi,
and even when you say, “no, just a bush,
I know this land,”
the dissonance is too great and they can’t hear.
And the topiaries watch,
and I stare back,
and one day, we will not see each other
anymore, the topiaries and I.
Because I will have no need to leave home.