Thursday, September 16, 2010

prototype

You can teach yourself almost anything. Another language, the names of long dead stars, the card catalogue or the Lindy Hop. You learn to feel, you learn to fight, you learn to love or at least when to stop. Give me a map and I will make a way. Give me a corner and I will take the whole damn floor. I learn slow, but deep. A photograph that feels like a whisper. That shine some stranger's face finds inside me. Tricks of habit, the subtle language of light. You'd think I would have learned.

Say that there was something other than these weeds and tethers. Say that these fallow fields were fit to work. Could I make the case, deliberate and untainted by this creaking heart and these longing bones? Could I find the facts when all my buttons are pressed and my wishes swept out the door? The tar smoke reaching across the lanes, time ground down into gravel and light. A little sick, a little sad, a little too old for this sort of leaning. To want is to lack anything but direction. To long is to deny each calamity of circumstance.

I imagine the wind, I imagine the sea, I imagine the sun and salt scent of your skin. There are armies of tomorrows I may yet face. Years of grizzled visage and broken wings. Still, I carry this gentle notion, something sweet and true. A picture in a frame, a myth of luck reborn. There is only the change on the dresser, the books stacked askew. A ribbon that once held back her hair. A sense that what was could be.

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