orange light hums over a thin mountain range way off across the night. my body is escaping the concrete cast it was set in what seems like millennia ago. my pink skin is wrinkled like a newborn. my muscles are in dire atrophy.

it’s more than hope. it’s reality. it’s not easy. but it’s time.

leaving behind a cave lined with cigarette butts and twisted beer cans, I inch toward the light. all the things that have weighed heavy on me for so long… pulling down my eyelids, irises forced to track ground.

too busy etching out my own survival to look up at the stars I used to worship so many cycles ago. but the heavens never left, and stellar trajectories never diverted despite my ignorance of it all. for a time I was dead. but now I live again.

so let’s talk about the majesty of the heavens: the mechanics of infinity. waters which once took me whole I now slide up and over, basking in the sparkle. with the wood that once used to block me under- with the very same wood- I make a raft. now, spine aligned, I meticulously attempt to match my inhale and exhale with the eternal ebb and flow.

a child is playing with a toy tambourine in the next yard over. it is summer. her younger sister cries, gifted to an age where there is no split.

and so too I return again to that green lawn where time is a fine white lie.