for Paulo Coelho

Never one to follow, I ran that bridge
not wanting to look through the slats
at the depths below.
I needed to will every move I made.
To stand still meant waiting
for the freeze or vertigo to hit.
I did not stop.

I dreamed and had nightmares
and wings fluttered in front of my eyes
again and again, waking me.
My sleep gave me no peace, no rest
until I climbed onto the alchemist’s back
and whistled through my teeth.

On the far side of that bridge
I dropped down into unfamiliar rapids,
kept going and did not look back
for I knew that riding the white water of the unknown
is not worldly wise and does not make sense.
But then, a life lived rarely makes sense
to the one living it.

published by LICHEN Arts & Letters Preview