Kyu Shi

Land rises to the sea, is divided, shattered, broken up by rivers and stretches of salt. An intermitten mountain range in green, orange, and purple pieces before me. The sphere we’re on tilts, turns, twists in empty and blank space. At the edge, as far as these eyes can see, light strikes its reflection and, in moments, fades away.

A handful of our heartbeats, and it will be night wrapped around us. The far off lights of further off strangers glitter across a spanse of water further than I am from my home. It may be another country, another grouping of irrelevant concepts, another space where you need papers and proof and a good reputation to get into. It may be a special club. A secret hovel where those are fires outside their bulbs.

Those glittering, infintisimal stars could light the way from me to them. If we tried hard enough, it might take mere weeks to reach them, see them, feel their inevitable warmth. We, of course, will never touch, never pass, never see more than this faint shape of something we cannot quite name.

Above, a sliver of silver bounces back the burning bright radiance of a star that birthed us. This smaller, lesser, strangely reflective rock pulls on the height and depths here to cast varying stripes on the land. Row after row cascading away from me like a history lesson of days, weeks, months before now.

There is a bridge on the other side of this road dividing the shoreline from the grassline. An edge of solid land against an edge of cultivation. The only difference here is in how we approach it.

Out in the current, running aground against colorful rocks is a dead body upside down. It rises, sinks, rises, and crests the surface, pushed away from the living by hands cold and invisible. It bobs and smiles, lips rotting and piecing apart.

I mis-step once, misplace my plastic bag of roadside snacks, and a caterpillar beside me is crushed underneath. I lift my careless sustinance and try to apologize the death away. In the end, I only rise to leave it there.

We lay beside one another in the night, tucked inside a crowded space, and we fight. Late, late into the night.
Half drunk and half blind and tired from a never-ending ride. We are just parting the surface of this violence hidden, not-so-cleverly, by parents and teachers and a careless way of remembering our past behaviors.

You and I are just dividing it with knives, digging in deep, and bleeding bright crimson on the possessions that possessed us, until this moment.

At the edge of security and instability, we will eventually stumble, fall, and die. A careless hand may wipe us out, set a bag or rock down upon our heads. Or the systems crumbling around us will crack our aging hearts. Until then, we will wait in a hushed, terrified, paranoid silence for the moment to come.

And all the while, crows attack hawks who come in the first morning’s light to shed death on their nests. A whistle like a cry. We can only echo back, our bones and sinews silenced by our grounded inability to affect the larger or the smaller systems surrounding our so-called spirit.

Are we one or are we nothing at all?
The question goes unanswered until the answer is completely moot.
And then, everything returns to the vibration from whence it came.

Science, chance, or god — at this point — who can differentiate?


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