I was the impostor, the storyteller and keeper of secrets,
scratching words in the dirt and trudging back roads
forsaking faith and rejecting the joys that life offered
and in doing so forgetting what nearly made me human.
I arrived on this world in a screaming mess of confusion
born on the far side of the globe on an overcast night
unable to hear the distant stars of my home
their song diminished by light-years of distortion
and feedback from a million microwave dinners.
I grew on this rock of salt and dissolving water
swimming in a soup of nitrogen and poison
consuming everything and choking back the taste
bitterness of the ages and sweet mortality.
I was the author, displaced by nature and listening
ear to the road, each vibration a new note to scribe
like a spider feeling the air pressure change
a disturbance in the farthest reaches of my web.
I was the brother, eldest and least inspired
every shooting star could have been a message
hidden language behind a heavy woven shroud
storms laden with promise and negative charge.
I was the last one standing at the end of the night
always, while others slipped into blissful slumber
or fitful and restless twisted around one another
and I witnessed dawn, not breaking
slowly painting the clouds a lighter shade
jarred by grinding metal of a passing train
I couldn’t sleep
we had all so far survived.