The Ontology of Place

Sep 24 2012

Pulling a geographical
means hoping that a new place
will make you a new person.
I want to pull an ontological;
hoping that being a new person
will help me find a new place.

I can describe the humidity
and the lucidity of the
Alabama pine, almost surreal
in that I have always imagined
pine in a permanent December,
just as Australia is always June
in my mind.

But my June; the Oklahoma June,
perhaps even the Alabama June.
You can expect eight degrees celsius in Sydney that month.
They don’t even keep temperature the same as us.
You are not my June, 46 degrees Fahrenheit.
But neither is Alabama my June, and I live here.
And no longer is Oklahoma my June; it was.
I do not know if Oklahoma Junes are like the ones I knew
but I know that the Alabama ones, and the Australia ones
are not what I knew.

So much of a place is knowing it, claiming it
wearing it, like shoes with holes we made ourselves.
I claim what I knew; it stops me from claiming a place now.
I don’t know this place like I knew that place, and I know that.
And therein lies my ontological:
if I could wash this already-lost history,
then the place I am could, be my own;
no barriers to overcome,
just an open mind, a tour guide
and the aching smell of pine.

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