You talk to me about wanting to get higher then higher, climbing up out of the tourist realm, ahead of the wave, up early to find the elusive summit. Machu Picchu—the first world’s collective wet dream of spiritual sanctuary. We were there, you say, ghosting the Lubbock streets as I trek down into a familiar forest, dogs out ahead on the trail. Two friends back in cellphone touch. We were travelling like we did as kids, you say. I am only mildly jealous. I can picture you in shorts and t-shirts, tipped forward by top-heavy packs, sweaty and sore, moving upstream inside tourism’s mundane turbulence; then dropping your load in the windowless hostel before falling into sleep like water dropped into a glass. But aren’t you also out in the wilds as you talk to me, tracing routes onto those high desert streets? And aren’t I, too, a little wild, breaking the slender spider webs along the trail, the first biped to pass down this trail since nightfall?
Sebastian Matthews is the author of a memoir, two books of poems, and a hybrid collection, Beginner’s Guide to a Head-on Collision (Red Hen Press, 2017). He is working on a collage novel and a collection of micro essays and dispatches.