My week 2 post is only three days late!
October 8: Frail
“You haven’t looked well in a long time,” She said as she washed the marble-white surface of her sister’s face.
Her statement was answered by an understandable silence. Corpses don’t talk, of course. So, the sister filled the silence with little whimpers, and her tears mingled with the lavender water that she’d pressed across the motionless face.
It wasn’t for the loss that she cried — the death had been a long time in the making, a suffering that had been dragged out over decades.
She had no want to reverse those final hours, nor any wish to raise the dead. It was not for death she cried but ending, that no course of action that could slough away years of injustice, of playacting. The story was already written — a permanent testament to a way of being that could not end any other way.
She wrung out the cloth and laid it next to the basin. Her work was done.
Before she left, she whispered, “Time takes all things.”
And as she turned out the light she prayed it was true.
October 9: Swing
Feet as big as mountains
I move with a new grace,
as the world moves below
& I above, together we make
meaning mean something
& divine breaks & joinings;
every dancer on the floor
moves on our cue, collide
& collapse, feet to the sky.
October 10: Pattern
Keep pulling: six & four & two, a tired dwindling. & then the sky opens and the crayfish yields. Despite all this knowing, there is never any movement.
Still waters may be deep but they are also depleting. Watch the sky pull the layers away, & the bank fatten with weeds & scum. Mosquitoes may nest and breed a new pestilence, a buzz to fill the silence with a more sinister emptiness. Yet there is nothing and nothing will survive this place.
The body eats itself, muscles wither away from disuse. The swords on the wall rusting by the full moon’s light.
Oct. 11, Snow
Light a candle or give me your hand,
carry this need for me — overgrown
but not yet yielding — white flowers,
vine-grown & tender, shudder at
the advance of early frost.
Oct. 12, Dragon
He opens his mouth, a maw as wide as the ocean filled with gemstone teeth — amethyst & emerald & quartz. His tongue is a serpent that curls amidst the abundance and flattens between the teeth to make a low sound that sounds more like “mmmm” than “sssss.”
Tail flicking out between the stars, mapping distances impassible by lifetimes, he counts off the beats on his claw-hand and asks you, “Well then, will you dance?”
Oct. 13, Ash
No worries, traveler,
nothing will ever be
as vulgar as an ankle
unsheathed in plain view
or a shoulder freed from
a gray wool shawl
or something slipped
between the lips. A man is
made in casual connection:
could be a handshake
or a tooth-extraction
or prayer in exhale
blown up a dying man’s
back passage. The important
thing is we’re all men here,
common as the earth &
just as pure.
Oct. 14, Overgrown
I won’t let this go. Heart melting toward the earth, the sun at my back, arms like sidewinders — no motion resembling cultivation, contemplation, or discipline.
Growing wilder even as I hold the poses designed to hold me in — each exhalation a gauntlet tossed & ignored, kicked like a soda can, clinking in the gutter.