It did seem to me whatever happened
had been going to happen, so why then
make excuses? The wires on the walls
held paintings afloat or ran wet with
water from the pipes. The moldings
all detached as the damage was done.
In a world of fishermen and plumbers
I was lost among the throngs of plain
folk, and I had nothing, it seemed, to say.
I gathered together whatever I could
salvage from the menagerie, my own
pets and friends included, and we stole
away together, seeing what we could of the world.
We were on the seas somewhere when
the rain finally stopped, and I saw the sun
on the horizon—something I hadn’t seen
in years. I was longing, as were all my
companions, for home. To see the small
stores and the lines on the streets again,
to go back the way poets speak of going
back, and to have things happen around
me instead of because of me. The activist
life was wearing thin on me, and I was
growing nervous and cold. When we finally
reached land we faced the journey back. I
had never known exhaustion like the one I knew then.
Oh I didn’t care about the water damage
back at home. I had lived worse lives already.
The systems were up and running in some
semblance of the way things were, and
I was not about to complain. Everyone
adjusted very quickly to old ways. I sewed
and plastered and did what I could in terms
of restoration, and when I was done I clearly
recognized my identity in this life. How
had I lost my place in my first go at it? Pain
can be the strongest influence in any life
or love. And I am so easily distracted I was not surprised.
I was not afraid to admit my mistakes. I
had so many to own up to though I worried
about the time. People stood by me, and I
thanked them for such gestures. The animals
near me seemed to lose their innate senses
for storms and danger, so I took to protecting
them myself. How could I abandon them
after such travels? At once everything
seemed simple and explained. The walls
looked terrible again, and I felt familiar pangs
of desiring flight, but instead I stayed put. I
wasn’t about to get going again, not now, no not ever.