compass-old1North enters the story with one sweep
Of the wind’s cold hand. It bruises you
With its knowledge of You can never
Leave. You cannot unbend the steel
You placed so carefully along your spine.
But the wind is more than cannot.   

East spreads its skirt across the intimate
Land of your body, deepening the hollows
With its shameless sunrise and its echoes
Of time’s lesson. Cannot cannot cannot
See another way that will escape the darkness.
But the sunrise is more than cannot.

South runs through the blackjack oaks
With the sureness of repetition. It avoids
The evaporation of desire with the untold
Light of your first life, the one that cannot
Be revealed in the second or even the third.
But the light is more than cannot.

West carries the strength of its chest
Holding onto nothing that its waters
Feel like on your skin. To sink beneath
That insistence is what can release
The future so you can walk out of your past.
But the water is more than cannot.

These directions follow you into the journey.
because there is no journey without you.
If you go, you will meet many heroes
Willing to travel with only the compass
of their own wonder guiding the new story.
You will meet yourself beyond cannot.

–Shaun Perkins

1 thought on “Cannot”

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