Future Versions of You

I saw a version of you
on a cave tour in South Dakota.
Middle-aged.
Three kids, all with your red hair.
A husband with a circle beard.
An accent from a place you would have stayed closeted.
While ascending 300 steps from our tour’s destination,
you joked about not needing a Stairmaster
if you just lived above a cave.

I saw a version of you
in a national park gift shop.
Late-twenties.
Round, thin-rimmed glasses.
Two older people with you,
maybe members of your extended family
or the people who took you in.
A purple dress with neon-green bats
indicative of a family that let you be different.

I saw a version of you
at an overlook above some badlands.
You were with a photographer,
a graduation photoshoot.
A shirt from an 80s band
under a cardigan two sizes too big.
A dandelion twirled between your fingers.
You looked like you.
You looked happy.

9 thoughts on “Future Versions of You

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