I didn’t mind ferns enough, I thought, the last time I hiked
up to Lookout Point. They’re so unassuming. I’d be looking up
to the tops of third-generation redwoods, or beyond, toward
Googleplex, in Mountain View, which later Google confirmed
was the complex off in the distance. And I’d be picturing,
those last days, cages and tents. Sorry to make you feel judged,
I almost texted. Stopped myself. Truth is I judge, and if judges
were capable of feeling sorry, they wouldn’t. I welcomed noise
instead of trying to block it out with the folk musician’s songs,
Scottish, coming from my laptop. If you don’t remember a name,
does it mean you don’t care to remember. You’d taken yourself
to places whose specifics you’d chosen to forget. You said you
weren’t there to keep track, but to experience. Which, when
I’m feeling negative, I translate as ditching the thing as soon as
you’re done with it onto the heap of junk you’re not accumulating.
Those who get the backend know what detailed tagging can lead to:
a map so precise it’s the territory’s size. We’re drifting apart
again, spore-like. I’m done completing your sentences.
A version of the signs along the trail anticipating the hikers’ ups
and downs. “It begins with feeling,” was the first, spotted
at the same time I noticed the pet waste bags someone had left
behind. “Here you leave your worries,” seen after I passed a guy
whose grin was such, he did seem to have just dumped them.
This one got me thinking about our tendency to ruin things:
“This is a beautiful moment.” The last wasn’t part of the art:
“Please keep out of area under renovation.” That resonated.
Copyright © 2021 by Mónica de la Torre. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 23, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.