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Asheville, NC mural — photo source

Driving south in August is a strange terrain. Verdant mountains wink silent hellos and goodbyes, as each tucks away into another breathless Virginian vista demanding attention. Eyes struggle not to get whiplash. Brow slickens uncomfortably, yet excitedly. Humidity punctuates the air like so many white letters on green signs signalling we’ve made it.

that first summer
broke me

Parts of me seep into pavement cracks, slink inside stores for brief reprieve, saving my best friend from her own lungs.

She can’t
breathe here
and I can’t stop

Elation wanders off-course until our feet print a new map. Creeping out the dormer window of the B&B, I view the city coupled with night bugs from the Victorian’s roof. In secret, I wed low-hanging boughs of tranquility and become Queen of the mountains, swaying in a hammock full of stars.

Go south, soft voice guides,
Unfamiliar dots whiz by —
Connecting pulse home

Recalling the first time I visited Asheville in 2001. My friend & I did get slightly confused that first day until we realized this city is impossible to get lost in. Having found home, I moved back a month later.

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