Sunday, March 24, 2019

After The Tornado

Perhaps like a woman seated at the kitchen table being interviewed just a few steps away from the tree that has recently fallen through the ceiling of her living room, the sound of annihilation is something you never forget, I explain. Even as bathroom walls collapse and parts of the roof blow off into the yard you will continue to experience the thunderous ripping and splitting off of structures that once contained you long after the upheaval has gone.

Maybe while triple-stepping to the cha-cha-cha of your accelerated heartbeat, pain from the shoes you've outgrown will further fuel your inner thrum and pang of personal loss. Feeling as out-of-place as chicken wire hanging from a power line or a bathtub in a tree, your survival speaks the language of a cautious belonging. When the noise of disaster dissipates, the litany of who did what to whom and what went wrong so very long ago abruptly stops.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

What One Remembers

Perhaps when I was seven, I first heard a murmuring. The murmuring grew into music as I stood there, puzzled, looking up at the slow drifting clouds to see if they were the music’s source. A sweet melody featuring violins, horns and drums filled my mind, a song as true to me as the sweltering sun. The notes continued until all the clouds moved away, leaving nothing but sky. The song was gone as mysteriously as it had come.

Maybe what one remembers is a clue to what one wants to be. As the only daughter of an only daughter, I struggle each day to build an inner warmth toward myself, asking questions of a familiar story I don’t always understand the answers to. This reminiscing is a bit like singing. The words make sounds, and the sounds keep other thoughts away. Sometimes I wonder if it’s a form of telling by forgiving, but after a while I stop wondering what it all means since it has all become a part of me.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

After the Flood

Perhaps in a dream a community of people dig in mud to unearth large pieces of mirror. Children assemble the fragments over soggy ground in a jagged advance, reflective side up. The community gathers around the glass and gaze across the watery expanse. Their collective faces reflect the vaulted heavens where clouds and tempests gather; where thunder and lightning are produced.

Maybe upon waking, I climb down stairs soft with mildewed carpet. Weather-ripped draperies lie bunched on the floor and a fallen chandelier jewels the muck. In my mind where all possible details have been combined, sentences spin off in unsuspected directions and there is too much to point to all at once. I turn the landscape into language, and that’s when I finally wake up.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Personal Seismology

Perhaps though we wake, sleep and eat in a warped habitat of plastic-bagged bread and artificial light, my body is a divine spark. When I blink the stars flicker, and lightning strikes each time I clap my hands. An exhale of breath pushes clouds across the sky, and the movement of waves rolls into and out of shore with the rhythmic beating of my heart.

Maybe every time I miss you there’s a silent earthquake inside. Lying on a bed of cold pebbles with cool water washing over me, I am a leaf floating lightly away, drifting and twisting along a winding river into a vast ocean, becoming one with the world's greatest flood. Night and silence. The wind dies down. Stars go out one after the other as houses along the edge of the road quietly fold in on themselves.