How It’s Supposed to Be
Joseph Anthony Petro
The trajectory is supposed to be
Like this—a gently sloping road
Rising steadily towards the next city over,
The one nestled in purple hills and gleaming rooftops,
And the road is supposed to be
Straight, and the road is supposed to be
Wide, and the driving safe,
And the air bright and the sun shining,
And there are supposed to be
Signs, clear as bells, along the way,
Unmistakable in their direction
And sense of helpfulness.
The road is supposed to be
Free of obstacles, dotted with pleasant shops
With curios and books, and little cafes
Where you can order the best smoothies
And read all day if you want to.
Yes the road is supposed to be
Free and easy, a short jaunt from here to there,
A Sunday drive in Spring that ends
With a picnic and a blanket and a basket
And not a single ant or yellow jacket.
Come to think of it, who needs a road?
Why shouldn’t it be that you simply walk
Out of your front door and wind up exactly
At the beginning and the end, all at once?
Where you walk down your driveway
To the sidewalk which turns on itself
In a closed-circuit loop, leading down
And around and right back up
To your very own door,
And so you are where you’re supposed to be,
And there isn’t any need for a journey.
In fact, why open the door at all? Why even go
To the door in the first place? Why even get out of bed?
Why not just stay inside
Where the covers are warm and the house
Empty and the walls full of the fantasies
Projected from your mind,
And your feelings are fine, in no need
Of changing, and all of your memories
Are fine, in no need of processing,
And all of your dreams and goals for the future
Are fine, powdery dust, in no need of pursuing?
Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be?