Gods and fires in bushes and swans are all the same to me

New versions of me and new versions of you meet on the street, two years in the future. It’s a simple collision. I am passing through. You are on your way back from somewhere downtown. I’m heading to a place I’m sleeping, and you’re heading home. I smile and you smile and we stop instead of just passing by. We touch hands, briefly; we can’t explain why. We both think to hug, but we don’t. We could explain why a thousand times, each.

“Are you alright?” I’ll ask carefully.

The answer will be yes or no or I don’t know.

And I’ll say good or I’m sorry or hm.

We won’t touch again and our eyes will cease to meet. One of us will turn away first. And we’ll go on, our lives woven in completely separate patterns, on winds that blow neither this way nor that.

This is what the ageing of loss feels like. I’ll see you in a handful of years again, maybe. And we’ll dance this danse again. Brief, balanced on the edge of remembering, speaking to ghosts of love past. Whispering on our tongues as we wander away, anew:

I hope your life is good.

I had imagined once, foolishly, I’d be the one to see it. You smiling peacefully, so warm and bright like a summer afternoon. But we are never a part of the end of the stories we begin. And so, I no longer imagine foolishly; I only hope.

Sparrow spirit guide

Of the flock, one or two are the boldest. Willing to take the initial risk. Willing to be messenger back to the flock or dead on the porch. With this one, another comes along. Someone to keep watch. If these two succeed, they fly back quick and let the flock know.

Then three or four or five return, emboldened by the risk the first one took. They as a group are bolder than even the first. Coming and eating and watching each others feathers for a suspect breeze.

When these three, four, five return — they will tell their success stories and later six, seven, eight will come. Bolder than both.

Each new success is an increase in numbers, in friends who’ve got your back. The first is the most risky, but without this — none of the others would raise wing and fly into prospective danger. Without the first, none would eat the hidden secret treats. And without a first, ever — all would live in fear.

I am willing to be that first sparrow, but I need a watcher and I need a flock to fly back to.
I am seeking, out on wind and wing alone, for these friends.

Passive words for passive people in passive times

Time was coming and going. Cycles were beginning and ending. There had been joy, but then there was confusion. The years were passing. Had been passing. And things were the same, in some ways. But some things were different.

It was acceptable to say “It was hard to know”.

It was hard to know. Had been hard to know. Was going on, getting harder. To know.

I was given a retaliation. I was given chances. I was given a lifetime of love, and I was told not to make quick decisions. I wasn’t going to.

It was going to come to fruition. The trees were going to bloom. Things were going to change.

And still, we were given questions, no answers. Just passive lives with passive lines that led us where?

We were going to get there, wherever that was.

Dreamcatcher

Dreaming about banging, thieves, and liars in the night. Waking to sounds that make me worry there’s murder, death and gore down below. Under my bed, copper boxes like chastity belts hide wrapped around tummies of monsters who rise from the ground.

Everything unpacked, disorderly in a big empty room. And I’m looking for tiny slips of paper that mean something bigger than just a ticket to where I’m headed next. Like I’ll lose my identity if I’ve lost them.

A hat, in sunlight, that was special and is gone.
A life, in moonlight, that was sacred and is gone. And as leaves fall dying, I lie wishing I could unravel loss like old sweaters and reweave my dreams into new brilliant patterns.

Winter will be both cold and hot on two opposite islands. One larger and one small. Volcanoes and earthquakes may shake me up. Another latitude may take away this lassitude and wake me up.

I want to keep knowing what my dreams are; how bad these nightmares are, how long the banging goes on. Not because I hope to find anything good, but only because I want to know what I’m so afraid of.

Thus far, it’s liars and thieves and people who cage metal monsters in false chastity.
What does it mean?

I’ll have to wait and see.
Tonight, I sleep and I dream again.

Waiting on strings

Loss burns like a piece of red charcoal in my belly. An ember that would, were it outside me, provide light. But buried so, it doesn’t glow but gives me sleepless nights. Long aching nights of dreams cluttered with unfulfilled wishes,  confusing complicated terms of agreement, partners who aren’t partners, loves I don’t love, faces I don’t know. A stranger’s house and stranger sensations when some stranger across a strange room says, “You’re home.”

Home was a shrine and a gas lit fire. Home was a tent pitched on wooden pallets. Home was a room full of clutter. Home was mottled memories in sleepless nights that I could not place. Home was a treasure chest that did not exist. Home was spirits, angels, demons, ghosts (Call them what you will.). Home was your bed, safe and warm.

I feel restless. Trampled. Hopeless. Homeless.
Maybe someone took a knife in the night and cut my heart out. My soul, spirit, ghost out. Maybe we were right and I was the one who was never whole. Never sanded down or finished. Not weatherproofed or lie-proofed, or quick witted enough to know the difference.

Life is long and laborious once all your definitions have sad rings to them. Once all your explanations have loss attached to them. Once every dream is an out-dated stained glass window waiting for the next religion to come in and smash it to pieces. Once trust has all run out.

I carried in a secret case a thing I called faith. It was blind, untested trust. I carried it around everywhere I went only to empty it out. I may have drained it quicker than I thought. Now this case collects dust and ghosts of the past. Shards of reality as constant reminders of places and faces I’ve loved, known, trusted strong and fast. If I reach in now, they get stuck in my fingers, drawing blood.

But if life is pain and suffering brings realization, I don’t think it led me wrong.
I am only looking for what to dust myself clean with and what to refill faith with.
I have a feeling, a hunch, a trepidation in a sense, that reality will show me.

The wheel always turns.

Water

I will always miss you.

But, seven years, and I was soaked through and you were turned to ash, so what were we supposed to do? Make soap?

It was funny. and we both laughed, “No.”

Doesn’t matter. You are now a character, a characteristic, a mood in all of my stories, and I will never let your ghost go. Whether you know it or not.

Seven years and I will henceforth carry you like a napsack, a messenger bag, a rolled up waterproof panier wherever I go.
How can I not?

Though it’s a shadow that lets me know you won’t know it. That autumn brought death of a kind I guess I was waiting for, but didn’t want. Death of a kind I always get. Death of a kind I never get. A kind I’ve been running from for years, seven plus itself four times and then some.

I love you anyway, water. I can’t change that. I don’t want to. Maybe, seven plus itself a few more times and I’ll forget how bad it feels on this side of it.

Maybe not.

Time to fuck off or get pissed off or quit.

Second time the joke’s on me. And you can bet next time you ask me if this is gonna fuck shit up — the answer will be “yes”. Nine times seven, yes. Oh, but it’s not because of me. It’s all you. Don’t worry. I get it.

I’ve had it up to choking point with dudebros and dudebros posing as over-anxious feminists who act like the world is their sandbox to kick around in. Like I’m a boat to row home safe in. Life if you act “as weak as me”, I’ll throw you some bones with a bit of meat still on ‘em.

And I’ve had it up to suffocating point with being told what sex is. See, this box is mine and I get to say what goes in it. I’m not taking something away because its nothing that you had, so quit your belly aching. Your pouting looks pathetic and your jokes are worse and these are the reasons you’ll never hear from me again.

You don’t like it?

Go ahead and cry. I’m sure some dudesis will listen, willing to cave in and play the notes just how  you say.

In another universe we got along and I won’t let myself keep thinking that it’s too bad.
Godspeed to you all, for whatever that amounts to.