I drove by the bridge safe in the backseat 20 years since I had biked those sandy streets in a dusty tennis skirt (even though I hadn’t held a racket in 8 years) / backpack full of cold beer. Condensation trickling down the lower back.
Somehow I survived that.

Biking with a walkman blasting Elliot Smith. I could never get the volume loud enough on any of those headphones. Not even the sportier yellow ones that came out later.

I liked looking at an unchanged landscape. That had been thriving without me. I wasn’t invited but it didn’t feel closed off. I was just happy to see IT. The way I still dream about that mysterious pond in Cape Cod just down the road. And then make a left down an unmarked path— You’ll see it when you recognize it.

I went on google maps a year ago determined to find it even though I knew there was a good chance it would ruin the memory. It vanished. Or maybe it was so secret it was undetectable. My brother and Dad would go fishing even though there wasn’t anything to catch. It was more swamp like. Maybe it dried up.

Sometimes I see it in paintings. The painter never went there either. Maybe we felt it in some deeper genetic code. The prospect refuge. The way I fantasize about my grandmother’s weeping willow tree. Eden. Why wouldn’t I dream of Eden all the time.

– Mary Blakemore