Incense brings my dreams on strong. I don’t remember the images, but the meanings leave me wracked with sobs. I have nothing to grasp and no-one to hold.
I am ensconced in darkness, alone.
Around the edges of everything, I dance with anyone. We parse and parry, but we do not touch. Our hands are speckled in shells, feathers, sand. Relics of mountains and life swallowed and crumbled up.
The ocean, I keep saying, is strong. Given the wrong chance, it would crush me under wave and beach. But I don’t panic with water in my snorkel, mask, mouth, and lungs. I follow young turtles through barriers of reef into hollows where the water is calm. I may be far out, but my heart would never know.
We swim together, keen eye on each other and the water. And after moments passed in hovering and wondering, we both decide we are no threat to one another. You break surface to take a breath. I to find my place.
In this salty buffet where you find everything, I, human thing, am in a desert alone.
I thank you for your trust, but I must go.
In another place, table and chairs and images others have drawn. I try my hand, but you will not raise yours with pencil or pen. I only have sketches, edges of images I know. I am not visual in the same way. My vision is heard but changed. The solstice has come, the sun sets, and the longest night — we must endure.
I pitch a tent in the damp yard, crawl in, and yet again, I am alone. Surrounded by the sound of rain I know in a couple hours will have seeped through, dripping on my inner shelter and my head. Like doubt has seeped through my dreams and drip-drip-dripped a punctuated beat on my heart.
A wide swath of rainbow arched not across but through the sky as we went north in the capsule of a car. I’ve gotten car sick one too many times. I ride higher on my bike, back arched, standing and riding tall. But if I bike, I must ride alone.
I hope on the other side of this long, dark night there is a friend to find.
A body to warm the rooms I’m waiting in. To give breath to the hole vacant beside me. I can feel the negative space like a companion in reverse.
I am still drifting through memories of the past, of past understandings, of a distant reason — trying to find out why I have ended up this way.
But why is a cosmically moot word, and what I can know “is”. So, this is. And through this, too, I shall pass.
Words of a distant friend like effervescent comfort to a sour stomach and a troubled mind.
Perhaps, I am not so alone but stuck inside a cave. Cold and dank.
I need to approach the light.
Come morning, I will stretch and feel better.
Come dawn, I will be warm.