Return of the Lost Ones

by Darryl Price


I'm working through the rocky pine cones so you don't

have to. I'm stepping over the little

dreaming people in your dreams so we don't

wake them with our loud and coming loose footprints. The

poem passes by like a heartbreaking

train jumping the tracks with the sound off. I

suppose I could tell you where these things come

from, but that would be cheating you out of

your next turn to be the conductor, and

besides there's no good film in it if you


already know what we're all wearing. It's

the sleeves! Oh no you don't get to pretend

any more than the next person. You said

how you wanted in and now here you are,

and just like that you want back out again.

Typical, typical.  Really there's no

other place quite like this one. But I think

for someone like you that's the scary part.

For me it's just a skeleton-key that

faithfully turns and reveals a meadow


or a lake where certain clouds are running

in the sky like eggs and all around the

swirling blue plate of stars is waiting for

you to take your first healthy bite of the

glowing fireflies. Don't look back. It's all the

same over there I promise you. They have

squeezed every bit of magic out of each

other like grapes. It's really kind of a

sickening scent if you ask me. Here we

have renegade trees who are not afraid


to open their gnarled eyes and look straight

in at you. There they have cold cut bushes

with long dumb fingernails just waiting to

lemon grab you by the collar and hold

you dangling over a cliff while someone

runs off to call the  imagination

cops. It's all a bore I tell you. Trees here

have got the best stories to tell you in

the world. I mean it. They act out all the

most interesting parts themselves, and some


even whistle between breaths like floating

miracle eaves. But what would you know of

such creaky old things? You probably think

it's all a silly bunch of carefully

orchestrated brushstrokes on a piece of

museum paper. A rare book to flip

back and forth, but I'm telling you things are

dropping out of your head that could make you

suddenly remember the names of the

small animals you gave away so long


ago for the comforts of a grand old

home somewhere in the concrete recesses

of the overblown cities. The lost ones

could return to your hands. You could return

the stolen stones. All they do is weigh you

down. So yes this is my attempt to get

you to remember something more to be

important than your addiction to the

pornography of consumption. Something

silent, something missing, something tender.

Bonus poem:

The Waxy Build-Up

I am the one walking with you. I am the one talking with you. I am the one being with you. And all I get from you is my boyfriend this and my boyfriend

that. I may not be your boyfriend, but even I know I love you more than he. I can feel it like an arrow when we're together. I can feel it when we're apart.

It's an absolute perfect knowledge that I have acquired by simply living out loud in the same moments with you. I have to admit I was somewhat

saddened to see that your hair needed washed, that someone so amazing as you are should present herself to the atoms and to me with such a lack of real

enthusiasm for the basics. I get that you are feeling sick. We're all sick with differing degrees of life chopping constantly at our roots, like back hoes, but when we're

together all I want is to give you the right words to make you feel my love is present, so that if you ever need it, you won't have to go far to find it. It is nobody else's.

When you go I start to slide. When you disappeared like that I didn't panic, I just got so lost. I emptied of any real compassion . There's still so much to

say. Please don't go away like that again. I know you are not well. I wish you could look into my eyes and see yourself as pretty forever. Lean on me. Lean on me, come inside.