We went to the place that had been our heaven when our bodies were ripe and the juices still flowed. We watched as our rivers became waterfalls and surrendered our voices to the roar.
We walked with a caution that bordered on cowardice and hid from the monsters that would tear us apart. We hid from our saviors. We hid from each other. We hid from ourselves.
Now that the clouds have turned into mountains there’s no turning back to the world that we knew. If my memory is as faulty as I think it is, that might be a good thing.
There is something inside of you that is not inside of most people. Even though I know that words will never exist for that something, I can’t keep myself from trying to find them.
It creates a strange and beautiful light. It glows. It is the rhythm and the melody behind a song no voice can sing, no instrument can play. It cannot be experienced with any of the five senses but is only more real because of that.
It animates every movement, so that your body curls and bends in ways that no other body ever has or will. But this is no mere animation. It is just as intense when you are in a deep sleep, curled in a ball, breathing loud and hard, with all the muscles of your face gone slack.
In my strongest moments it is fuel for a fire that will never go out.
In my weakest moments it overwhelms me.
I let my mind go out and play while I took care of some chores. I watched it from the windows, swinging from the trees. I kept myself from running out to help when I saw it stumble and cry. Sometimes you have to hit the dog on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper to get it to learn.
My mind got up and limped away from the place where it fell and got hurt. My chores are more easily performed without that little one getting underfoot. It will come back home when it gets hungry or needs a place to rest.
I went to the place where blisters were blooming on fingers that felt pride in putting them there. A woman named Mary provided a fishbowl, a backdrop for dreamers, and pint after pint. There were masters of melody, rakers of rhythm, and teller of tales about freight trains and fears. It’s easier to listen to strange-sounding strings than to suffer the silence that Tuesday night brings.
When the tables were turned and the clouds were behind me, the strangest illusion of calmness I’ve known washed over my nerves like a musical blanket or the last acorn to fall from the tree. Not even fear itself could frighten away the creatures who gathered to feed it to loneliness.
I said I don’t usually do this
I said that you’ll soon find out why
I said that I love you, again, without fear or regret, except one: that it can’t be returned.
The specter of certain death raises its head again but this time it’s as a punch line. We can share a laugh with nothing more than eye contact now. How could something as heartless as time perform such a sweet service?
The best of us have flaws while the worst carry the seeds of redemption, waiting for sunshine and moisture to set them free.
Even if the day comes when there is no place in your life for me
and that could happen
(let’s not fool ourselves)
I can’t imagine a day when there’s not enough emptiness in me to fit you.
Like most people, the first time I saw a ghost it was hanging over the bathroom sink. Part of him was me but most of him was not. What was most recognizable about him was the fact that it would take very little effort to shatter him into shards.
We came to the place that was founded by men who risked and lost lives in the mouths of great beasts whose fat was burned to light the page and warm the bones of men’s children. Presidents came, and prostitutes too, in days best remembered in drawings and the fading photographs that line the entry to the place built to house weapons that is now home to books.
We walked in the shadows of Martin Van Buren and waded in puddles of forgotten tears. We listened to stories, with rhythms and melodies, borrowed and plundered, of fathers and kings and lovers long gone.
We answered the questions as well as we could, not knowing how honest or accurate we were able to be. We waited for sunshine and cried for the past and we buried our gold in the hungry dirt of Finland.