How Wanderlust Wrote Its Name On My Wrist
Words and Photographs by Ali O’Brien
I awoke at 4:00AM, my body aching and aglow under a peak of heavy mountains. The fog rolled quietly over the wooden deck just beyond our one–window room, panting with soft, gray eyes and the wane of distant sirens. My head adjusting to synthetic light as I moved methodically in a strange hotel room.
New England wore me like a silk robe in the dead of winter. The air felt damp, soothing my sore New Yorker feet, with the same heat warm water carries. We drove a half–mile to the entrance of the smallest national park in the United States, the four of us rubbing sleep from our eyes, but in the forest, I felt singular.
At 4:53, the sun rose over Cadillac Mountain, and I remembered all the ways I loved you three years ago. How fragile my heart was from years of failed adulation; how my frosted fingertips reminded me of Maine sea glass and lobsters underneath red awnings. And now, I feel a higher calling, a universe begging me to come home like I am a wild horse and your arms are my stables — the way only natural beauty could weave itself into my city mouth. There are layers and levels of us that twist like a handmade spiral staircase. Chests like onions and blueberry pie. Constantly dreaming, wandering.
We were spent from Acadia, tired from lack of smog and light pollution. Drinking in the first sun from the roots of our spines like muddled mojitos on the balcony of Bar Harbor. Perched above the world like four, martyred angels and digging through our wallets to find quarters we could save to move away.