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For my first number, a poem inspired by my travel in Europe, after running through some epic trials and yes, I daresay, tribulations and glorious struggles and personal victories. [ Go down a few lines and click “continue reading” to expand the whole poem first.]  Enjoy.

HERE

I am here. This is no small feat.
I have worked to get here. I have scratched the backs.
I have tricked my mind, twisted the words,
made a fool of myself repeatedly.
I have even felt like a slave to my own ambition
To have escaped here
I have carefully lost my way
again and again
cooked the wrong ingredients together
rode in the wrong cars with boys
Made a mad rush to undress
Made myself sick from espresso
and turned from it, too, from the canal side
Turned from the tracks,
Turned for support
went down streets with falling-down houses
hanged empty window frames for art
Where are all the people?
I tap dance for them in hot bulb sleep
I beg, I’m eager.
You felt me once, did you not?
I longed to be here over everything
Here gets you everywhere…
I sit here in the sun on a bench, seek
refuge under the black awning tomorrow
while braver souls walk by wetly
others clouded in perfume.
They seem to know who they are
but not where, for they don’t see me.
I am here.
I pay dearly to get here.
I crammed myself in the luggage rack
I skirted the English language menu
I am here.
I should be only here
on the brick street, clinging to the spit,
grateful for the reality.
I should have been prepared
I should never have taken advantage
I should learn not to fear the bike
I should speak up
I should upgrade from trial-sized
I should embrace the consequences
Because I am here–I can’t deny it.
Here to be continued.

-kerry e mckenna

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