by Louis Jenkins
"Its no use," he says, "she's left me."
This after several drinks.
It's as if he had said "Van Gogh is my favorite painter."
It's a dimestore print, he has added to his collection.
He has been waiting
to sho it to me.
Still, he does not see it. To him
it is an incredible landscape
empty, a desert
"My life is empty".
He likes the simplicity. And says again
"My life is empty. She won't come back."
It is a landmark
like the blue mountains in the distance
of the print
that never change.
The crust of sand gives way with each step
and tiny lizards skitter out of the way
....Even after walking all day
there is no change
in the horizon.
"We're lost", he says.
"No," I say. "Let's go on."
He says, "You can go. Take my canteen.
You have a reason to live."
"No," I say
"We are in this together and we'll both make it out of here"
Harpers Ferry, WV