Sawdust

You never forget the feeling:
slats of sunshine through the bars,
a world outside four walls,
just like freedom
after all.

It’s hard to sit still
once you know it’s there,
out of your cell,
over that fence
and
out of yourself.

You’ll be chasing, always,
once you glimpse it
glinting
on the blade of that horizon,
and soon,
you’ll be out of breath,
panting, itching, fiending, scratching,
dying
just to cross the line
over to the other side.

(You tell yourself:
the next one should do the trick,
then you can go back home.)

It’s hard to stay still
once you’ve had a taste,
even though it will abrade you
and shave away your edges
until just your sawdust core
remains.

A channel opened irrevocably,
sometimes beautiful,
always dangerous,
never dull.
It doesn’t fill the space
but it helps you forget
it’s there.

You’ve never known a love like this
all your life
and love is pain
but love is purpose
and love does not discriminate.

But there is a place reserved for you
where the only sound is stillness
and the stiffening of limbs
as fading warmth flickers
and your heart falters
and the remaining
sinews of your
strength
snap,

finally,

and you think to yourself:
this is

okay.