You can get there from here, though
there’s no going home.
Everywhere you go will be somewhere
you’ve never been. Try this:
head south on Mississippi 49, one-
by-one mile markers ticking off
another minute of your life. Follow this
to its natural conclusion- dead end
at the coast, the pier at Gulfport where
riggings of shrimp boats are loose stiches
in a sky threatening rain. Cross over
the man-made beach, 26 miles of sand
dumped on the mangrove swamp- buried
terrain of the past. Bring only
what you must carry- tome of memory,
its random blank pages. On the dock
where you will board the boat for Ship Island,
someone will take your picture:
the photograph- who you were-
will be waiting when you return.
Natasha Trethewey, ‘Theories of Time and Space,’ in Native Guard: Poems, 2006.