thoughts before i said goodbye

Sophia Youngdahl - Senegal


April 18, 2019

From my journal, 23 March 2019… when goodbye was still a fleeting idea



I cannot define what force holds me here



What roots I have somehow discovered



Curling their way upwards to the sunlight



Seemingly carved into existence



By red clay



And ancient hands,



A face with crinkles when she smiles and the belt of Orion in her eyes.





I am so warm.



I feel that I am as sweat careens down my face, making patterns in the sand that has  made its refuge



A respite from traveling on the fingertips of the wind.



But this feeling that ropes itself through me



This vibrant, pulsing warmth



is the color of the mid afternoon sun



That bows it’s head



and gently grazes its lips to the trodden tile of sunset below



Caressing dancing patterns



through leaves and lace curtains.





I am held in the palm of the present.





And yet everything is circling back now



Time’s dance running anew



Sand through my grasping fingers





Ten nine eight seven sixfivefourthreetwoone





And how could I possibly go?



And how could I possibly stay?





And who will I be when I return?





I wear thin cotton on my shoulders



And a rage of roses on my cheeks



Thousands of unsaid words



And unsung goodbyes



Held captive by a blush of chapped lips



Retained breathless in a moments whisper



A second from overflowing



Words too startling to be revealed



Too real to be released into the harsh light of day



I l l u m I n a t e d.





The mosaic is cracking, shattering,



the painted sky of a fiery sunset,





and everything





is contained in the subtle presence of a singular green clothespin



Hanging upside down from the clothesline



Swinging in the slight breeze



That rustles my hair



Making strange dancing patterns on this ink stained paper





I am still.





all I can do now is pluck fleeting moments from thin air



And pen them into the semi-permanence of blue ink,



Living memories secured by red leather walls,



As if they are all I will have left,



When the world begins to spin as it once did



And I stand breathless

Longing for home and sandy footprints.


Sophia Youngdahl