The First of Many

Rob Love

I took a walk in the night to search
for answers, in the silence, where answers hide.
No matter how many footsteps
I laid, I remained hollow.
And in me rang memories, like faint echos,
painfully thin reminders of smiles.

It is strange that a smile
is only the cracks of a mouth, searching
the limits of a face. A measurement of the soul’s joy, that echos
out and reaches the flesh. I could not hide,
(for there is nothing to conceal hollowness)
from memory, always a few footsteps

behind me, chasing me, reminding me where my footsteps
had brought me, showing me smiles
that are pieces of my scars, where I tried to hollow
out my wrists, in search
for peace in bleeding, or just a place to hide,
to escape a never ending echo.

The street lamps all began as pools of gold and echoed
out into shadows and other pools of light, where my footsteps
fell. I didn’t try to hide
that I wasn’t smiling.
It was my way of searching.
Being honest with the sky to see if hope is hollow.

On my walk I came to a hollow,
in a field where I had known someone, who is an echo
now. I searched
for where our footsteps
had been, and remembered what smiles
we had shared there in private. Though there is nothing to hide

in what is true. I could not stay in our simple little hide
away, our prairie grass hollow.
I could not smile
either, because the echos
of that place wilted me, even my footsteps
showed the weight of searching

and searching for a way to smile.
Plunging through echos, through the night, footstep by footstep
trying to hide from what in me is hollow.