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Flying through the mist down on a damp Highway 17 to Myrtle Beach
Head throbbing from snorting too much Aderall the night before
Eating a Biggie fry and a McFlurry from McDonald’s
Laughing bitterly at myself for sinning and giving in to the sensual
Formerly once vegan

Wondering what the people from the past would say if they saw me now
Having given up completely

Hear something on the radio
The 13th Anniversary of the War in Afghanistan
It feels as if I’ve been Rip-Van-Winkled
Can it really have been thirteen years?
Since I stood up and walked out of my English classroom
Telling the professor that we couldn’t talk about Chaucer while the events of our time were transpiring?
That it had been 12 years since I had marched with 40 people wearing skull masks around Greensboro?
And that we used to walk down Market Street in packs, roving bands
To check our e-mail at the College Library
The world I knew is gone


Aaron Lake Smith