i don’t care what you think unless it is about me

gathering
at the edge,
where land
gives way
to water,
the people
look at the ocean
and say,
“what’s in it
for me?”

turning around,
backs
to the ocean,
the people
walk
to the great fields
of grasses,
stopping,
looking around,
the people
ask,
“what’s in it
for me?”

the fields
are green and
golden,
the grasses are
indigo and
gray,
the people
walk to
the rising foothills,
the wooden forests,
the breathing trees.
taking breath
deep into their
lungs,
the people
exhale and say,
“what’s in it
for me?”

climbing
to a small
clearing,
sweat
sliding down
heaving chests,
the people
are stunned by
the rising ground
that confronts them,
awed
by the mass
of rock flying
into the sky.
tilting their heads
back, looking
up at the
mountains,
the people
think together,
“what’s in it
for me?”

back in their
settlements,
little towns and
throbbing cities,
the people
mill around,
looking at each
other.
the people
say hello,
the people
bring body
near body.
looking at each
other,
at lips and
contours and
eyes, all
the people
wonder,
“what’s in it
for me?”

all going home,
all going into
their separate
spaces, all
closing doors and
drawing curtains,
all feeling
safe and
secure and
alone,
the people
look to their
mirrors,
the people
look at the image
shown back.
the people
poke
at their bellies and
look in their nostrils.
the people
flex
their muscles and
stick out their chests.
the people
look at their
hairline and
widen their blinking
eyes,
looking,
thinking,
asking,
wondering,
“what’s in it
for me?”

a flower, pale purple on the petals, violet on the very edges, dark purple at its center, is shown with a living green background. it is in focus at its center, with the petals blurring into the background. a few water droplets cling without grasping to the petals.

Published by Zak

an intertidal island in an ocean of impermanence.

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