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Cumulonimbus​ ​tidal​ ​waves

blanket​ ​the​ ​sky like​ ​an​ ​overcast​ ​of​ ​clean​ ​bed​ ​sheets

calming​ ​you​ ​into​ ​a​ ​dream.

It’s​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​like​ ​having your​ ​head​ ​in​ ​the​ ​clouds,

but​ ​you’re​ ​still​ ​grounded, ​rooted

like​ ​a​ ​white​ ​orchid​ ​-​ ​a​ ​delicate​ ​luxury.

And​ ​it’s​ ​an​ ​astonishing​ ​thing:

the​ ​feeling​ ​of​ ​snow​ ​on​ ​phantom​ ​limbs.

It​ ​makes​ ​you​ ​wonder​ ​if​ ​the​ ​Eskimos

had​ ​a​ ​word​ ​for​ ​the​ ​sensation​

- somewhere​ ​in​ ​between​ ​shock

and​ ​silk,​ ​faux​ ​fur​ ​and​ ​ice.

It​ ​must​ ​feel​ ​nice​ ​-​ ​like​ ​fingering

pages​ ​of​ ​a​ ​notebook.

At​ ​times,​ ​it​ ​tastes​ ​like​ ​Marlboro​ ​lights

being​ ​smoked​ ​under​ ​moonlight​

​- the​ ​fumes​ ​dance​ ​in​ ​the​ ​wind

like​ ​feathers​ ​until​ ​they’re​ ​wisped

away​ ​into​ ​the​ ​atmosphere.

Far​ ​away​ ​from​ ​the​ ​words​ ​never​ ​said

on​ ​blank​ ​postcards​ ​never​ ​sent.

Those​ ​unexplored​ ​places​ ​live​ ​like​ ​skeletons,

groping​ ​onto​ ​hope.

Some​ ​people​ ​find​ ​life​ ​in​ ​surviving

blanched​ ​sand​ ​deserts

or​ ​skiing​ ​Mount​ ​Everest,

but​ ​you’ll​ ​notice

those​ ​of​ ​us​ ​who​ ​hide

and​ ​seek​ ​behind​ ​pearly​ ​teeth

and​ ​a​ ​counterfeit​ ​smile.

At​ ​our​ ​very​ ​best,

accepting​ ​death

can​ ​feel​ ​like​ ​telling​ ​time

with​ ​a​ ​broken​ ​wrist​ ​watch.

Will​ ​you​ ​use​ ​your​ ​seconds​ ​wisely?

We​ ​paint​ ​our​ ​lies​ ​white

as​ ​if​ ​the​ ​absence​ ​of​ ​truth

is​ ​the​ ​absence​ ​of​ ​color,

and​ ​we​ ​begin​ ​to​ ​forget​ ​that

honesty​ ​reads​ ​like​ love​ ​letters

on​ ​paper​ ​napkins​ ​and​ ​sounds​ ​like

Comptine D'un Autre Temps on​ ​the​ ​piano.

It​ ​tastes​ ​like​ ​a​ ​glass​ ​of​ ​water

in​ ​the​ ​summer​ ​and​ ​smells​ ​like

the​ ​soul​ ​of​ ​an​ ​old​ ​book.

It​ ​looks​ ​like​ ​a​ ​holy​ ​forest​ ​of

birch​ ​bark​ ​trees​ ​bathing

in​ ​ivory​ ​light.

And​ ​you​ ​are​ ​light,

like​ ​an​ ​egg​ ​shell

encasing​ ​a​ ​soulful​ ​ghost

that​ ​has​ ​built​ ​a​ ​bungalow

out​ ​of​ ​your​ ​bones.

Your​ ​hourglass

must​ ​be​ ​handled​ ​with​ ​care

because​ ​your​ ​light​ ​is

not​ ​an​ ​absence,​ ​it​ ​is

an​ ​affirmation​ ​–

even​ ​in​ ​blank​ ​space,

when​ ​there​ ​is​ ​seemingly​ ​nothing,

you​ ​are​ ​a​ ​reflection

of​ ​everything.

#EricaBarreto #poetry #20172018

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