A Man Misplaced

— Trish Hopkinson

for Everett Ruess

A man misplaced in the desolate
solitude of monuments. His layers exposed
like desert thumbs, chiseled siltstone lines cut

across the grain and thirsting for ink.
A mirage can be liberating—arriving
in a fourth world, a dreamscape in the negative,

blackness brushed away with horsehair
and burnished into day. Ethereal elements
shook the grit from his skin, separated

the demons and left them feeble and ruddy
to harden in the sun. A man misplaced
carves out the landscape of his own ghost—
death’s first witness. His axis

seeps into sandstone, walls
that leave behind mundane
manuscripts and temporal treasures
etched into simplistic black and light.

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