18/30: WHAT A GLORIOUS FEELING, I’M HAPPY AGAIN
by Zachary Caballero
I used to think of happiness as a lost island
I could never inhabit whenever I was in the habit of
hating myself. What some call isolated,
others call surrounded.
Occasionally, some stranger crashes, lands in the sand
and all I can do is lift my hands, watch the smoke
drift off their body, and ask if they are surprised
at how different the sun looks from here. Everyone
is invited but no one here ever arrives together.
In my life, I am the island and the water.
Sometimes, I am all there is and all there was.
Othertimes, I see the tide that tries to move closer,
as if something was waiting in the middle of the sea
to take me back to where I never wanted to be.
Who can tell me what it’s like, there, on the other
side of the world? Back on the mainland?
From the island, I am writing this poem
to put inside a bottle to ride on the tide.
I’m not asking for an audience or a ship.
Maybe you misunderstand. I want my words
to return to me. I used to think of happiness as
a lost island, forgotten or maybe just unforgiven.
Whatever the reason, I know how I got here isn’t
always the same way back. I don’t remember
how to go back. So here I am, finding myself
on a lost island, and oh what a glorious feeling.
What a glorious feeling, to be happy again,
What a glorious feeling, to remember
I never forgot how to swim.