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MILE 32—

               ruby jewel trail


by lucien darjeun meadows

Sun is out jacket is off 9 hours in and he looks at his arms and cannot remember how all these scars

got there. Mining roads over red hills except the colors are not quite right: are never quite right. To trace

the lines in his narrow bed at night reading braille written by someone else: left for someone else.

Some mirrors are two-way and you never know which: being followed for 4 years by a nurse to the

bathroom, to the shower. My kingdom, steep green holler, for a locked door, or just for a door. Both my hands for just one tree. Each sentence a bridge with a rotten plank he always steps through: meaning I miss you

saying no birds here. Saying medication time meaning help me remember blue. Saying not ready for home yet meaning I’m worried I might not know you next week. Saying I think the treatment is working meaning I don’t recognize myself in the mirror anymore.

Lucien Darjeun Meadows is a writer of English, German, and Cherokee ancestry born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains. An AWP Intro Journals Project winner, Lucien has received fellowships and awards from the Academy of American Poets, American Alliance of Museums, Colorado Creative Industries, National Association for Interpretation, and University of Denver, where he is working toward his PhD.

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