Yosemite, Once

Two figures stop hiking to prepare lunch. Yosemite Valley in spring, an unearthly backdrop.

One woman is my cousin. The other sways in a state of dissociative stupor.

Is it me?

I cannot focus on streams of consciousness long enough to be certain.

I watch The-Woman-That-Is-Supposed-To-Be-Me spread her lunch on a large rock. An orange from a roadside stand, a PBJ sandwich, and home-made chocolate chip cookies that were schlepped all the way from PA.

She-Who-Is-Supposed-To-Be-Me stares at the scenery in awe.

She eats the orange.

The women speak, quiet and playfully caustic.

The sign says this is a seasonal pool and not a lake.

What a fucking ripoff.

Both laugh and watch the river twine through the valley.

It hurts to eat. To exist. To breathe.

She silently cries, barely sidestepping the esophageal pangs of anxiety-and-grief-induced-vomiting.

She writes a little poem on her phone.

She eats a bit more.

She snaps a photo.

For him? For no one.

She turns to her cousin and says:

Sometimes I don’t feel like I can make it.

april 1st 2019 – 3:22 PM

i feel like dying

next to Mirror Lake

it’s not even a lake

just a seasonal pool

in a riverbed

isn’t that a real bitch?