Tomorrow, well, today, I will write of a love
that is easy, one that is like sinking into the
fresh sheets of your bed after a long day, down
surrounding you, in an embrace so kind your
brain does not believe it is real, because, here,
is rest without a knife to your back; but today,
I will instead open the fridge that has gone bad,
and pull from its guts, the expired carton at the
back, and set on the glass table, my cracked pensieve,
in which I will receive testament of the communion
that was that day; here, is my steady hand, pouring
you out into the gaping hollow of my throat; now,
here, is my bitter mouth, vomiting the sourness of you
into the aging cavity of the pensieve; look, there
is the promise of us floating, placid across the surface,
my head is uplifted to look upon the surface of your face
in the sunlight, the shadows of the trees do not
touch us, this waiting does not touch us, the slamming
breathlessness of death is already forgotten, here only,
is the fragrance of you, the lost confusion of our friends
who do not understand the hesitancy that stays us,
but understand enough, the way we look at each other,
to call it love; I dip my head into the pensieve,
and I do not drown, instead, I breathe easy, like
the heat dappled upon our backs, my fingers
reaching out to smoothen the fierceness of your
singular brow: I have always wanted to touch you,
now, I do; here, is my hand in your hair, here, is us
sharing the old path of three, here is my hand on
your arm, fingers rested on the pale scars beneath
your wrist, you do not shy away from this, you
welcome this, you welcome my knowing.
Here you are, kissing me on the cheek.
There you are walking away, smiling.
Here, I am blushing.
This carton is empty now.
The pensieve is drying.
This memory is not bitter.
It is just empty.
K.N.O.W. April 1-4, 2019. NaPoWriMo Day 3.
I sat by a child once, and together, we stared through the glare of the light in a clear, unmarked pane, into a field of beauty. It was empty, this field, lush with greenness, not at all like the fields of my home—where the grass was yellow, and dry, earth dripping through, and even in greenness its blades cut your feet—this was a field of fairy-tales, really; From our places, we could tell, that to step out there, would be to step in—to grasses so soft, our feet would taste them like full, dewy moss; the flowers would waft with everything the stories told us of: honeysuckle's breath gentle upon the skin of our cheek, nectar's sweetness dripping from hummingbird's beak, and this place, this field too pretty to be true, would be the perfect clime—asking no more from the skin of our bodies, than the strange dichotomy of warm summer showers bringing relief, not desperation, in august's heat; So, I held out my hand to this child, and she took it, the window (for that is what it was), transforming into a tall door made entirely of glass, the light bathing it so fiercely, no form of the space we left behind, remained visible to the eye, and we stepped into the field; The grass was as soft beneath our feet as I had imagined: the dark stains of the soil beneath it did not mar our heels, and the petals were as fragile, and fragrant, as we'd dreamt them to be; I took the child's hand, and unfolded her fist, smoothened its creases into a welcoming plane, but when I pressed her hand beneath the blooming bud of flowers, her fist curled yet again, hardened into stone;
With each flower, and bud, and sweet fruit I offered, her fist only grew harder, and colder, fingers solid, and unbreachable, no space even for water to pry; She looked up at me, face guileless, and so unperplexed, for all the trouble this seemed to cause me, that at last, I paused, and knelt before her, to ask— "Why don't you want to hold the blooms of the world, in your uncurled palm, sweet child?" But she only stared at me with a gaze of pity, and hardened her fist until it felt that if I should not let go, my hands, too, would turn to stone; When I let her go, her hand seemed to soften, I watched with mine own eyes, as its brown flesh became new, She laid her palms beneath the blooms, in the practice of gardeners, and the petals seemed to gain new life, with each second of her touch; Flowers bloomed into brightness, fruit burst into fullness, and when she plucked them from their stems, they ne'er bruised, nor seemed to bear a mark of taint, and thus we went, bloom, by bloom, her dropping tender, sweet fruit into my own palms, I eating my fill, and making myself a crown of flowers, Once I'd eaten my fill, I stretched out my hand once more, to gift her what she had given me, but the second I offered fruit to her, her face would crumple with distaste, and when I held her hand to roses, the stone would form yet again, growing rough, and cold, and hard, crushing from sepal to petal; Thus, we went a hundred days, twenty years, fifty years, but no matter what I did, she would not take from my hand, or by her own, of what the field of beauty had to offer;
At last, I had had enough. I looked down upon her little head, and turned her face toward me, fingers grazing the stone-broken scar we shared, I held her gently by the chin, and in will, for hours on end, a battle, fiercely, we did rage: bursting, soft fruit held out, stone-fisted, peculiar smile laid out; I huffed, She laughed, But no matter how I begged, no matter how close I came to being stone myself, no difference did it make to her; Finally, I let go, and waited to see what she would do, and that confounding, frustrating child, stepped through the door, and disappeared. I stood, hands on hips, and watched in concern, as she brought person after person, to wade through the garden, be fed by her hand, and gifted crowns of flowers; yet, for each child, and vagabond, and world-weary soul, not a one would she eat from, not a fruit would she taste; It was one such afternoon, that she collapsed, when the last of our strange, and frequent guests, had been fed, and nursed, and watered, I picked her up, and set her down, just under the tree of showers, hoping she would at least drink her fill, but she only stretched beneath its showers, and let it freckle her brown, drawn face; I knelt, and raised her chin towards it, whispering, "Sweet Child, why won't you drink of the fountain?" She sighed, and cupped her hand beneath it, and I cried finally with relief, But instead of sipping from her palm, she raised it to my cracked lips' surface. K.N.O.W. April 1 - 4, 2019. NaPoWriMo Day 2.
I do not know how to let things die; hand, a curved cup around limp leaves, wilted plant against fingers gently moulding moist soil into a bed for dis- integrating roots: here, is warmth, here, is comfort, here, is a shelter in the storm— do not mind my battered body, do not touch my bleeding fingers, rest easy in the shade of my grief (it will not touch you, even my tears do not touch my cheeks); You are a dead thing I have only recently learned to leave buried. You, a voice in the cool of the afternoon; You, the burning hand of a Guyana sun, sweat curling beneath breast under the weight of school uniform, shoulders pressed together beneath the open shadow of concrete corridors; Do I bury you, always, with the bitterness of my grief? Do I bury you, only, with the bitterness of this loss? I think only of you as you ought to be remembered: bat twisting on a dried field crack of ball against bat's breast I remember you only, as you were:
IWhat were you? The iron band around my throat I hold in reminder that I should leave you rotting? The rush of happy breath held in the soft, and tender, curve of your hand holding mine? Garden-nurse, and Necromancer, let go your crafts. Ask only for ash, of the burial ground. Not sour, stained bones. Not rotting flesh. Not a skull to hold tears. K.N.O.W. April 1, 2019. Monday. 19.23 hrs. Day 1.
for Tree of Life Synagogue, and the community that bears this May their memories be for unto a blessing. May you be gifted love, and comfort, in a world which has sought to steal it from you with each generation; May your heart be gifted the warm glow that lingers in the chest after the tight grasp of a child’s hand; And where grief has stolen that memory, May you be gifted the soft memories of sunrises past, and present, and to come, washing away a dark night; May you be granted the assurance of safety that is coming home; And where cruelty has stolen this memory, May you find the presence of a friend, sitting beside you in the willing sharing of a burden; Where grief has made a home, may the hand of kindness grasp your face with tenderness, and wipe your tears; Where the silence you did not ask for, has taken residence in your chest, may the lilting voices of those communing with you, ease it; Where words are not enough, may touch, may the weight of a warm mug being pressed into the palm, or the soft down of a blanket on the shoulders take their place; Where there is only a hole, a void that is difficult to fill, An empty space, an empty chair, an empty bed, an empty jacket, May you be given the strength to bear it, until it becomes a room from which memories of light, of laughter, of joy, of silly things that make the day pass, pour forth; Where there is rage? May it not burn you, but burn away injustice, burn away the things, the people, the systems that have made this world so; May it not exhaust you, but revive you for the work that is to come. May you not feel alone in this work, as you should not be in this mourning. Amen. K.N.O.W. Saturday, October 27, 2018.