Voices (声で)

I am learning to hear new voices. Friends from years ago I was once familiar with. We walked the forests and snowed in mountains together, and I saw magic by your hand but did not know your name. I have learned, in this winter shutdown, how to whisper into the dark and get you to come out to me.

I am sleeping less and feeling better. A few hours here, snatches there. When the wind or ideas call, I cannot sleep. I must create to stay away from the blackholes that remember everything in me. I am escaping so well these days.

I live with Tryst, my old friend. Faded photos of loves I’ve lost or maybe, never had. Names on walls I once carved that now I’ve moved away from. I don’t hold any of them dear, but the ledges on which I set my modern heart — this is the lightning gate (雷門)by which strangers must pass. If peace lets you in, so do I.

I trust in trust of spirits I will never know.

But when I see modern photos of you — I know I’d rather hold those unfamiliar spirits close than a body with a heart I don’t know. Not like you’re offering. Even if by some off chance you did, I’m the one who chooses to stay away. I like both my present and my past better this way: palatable. Not tangible. Distant, like stars. Galaxies between us.

Thank the vacuum for giving me space to not need to breathe.

I have loves to trust in. Arms to fall in. Hope to rush to. Hands to hold and ears to cry to. Shoulders to sigh on. Eyes that see in me what I didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t believe. Things you tore out and left bleeding. Holes I pressed shaking white hands against. It wasn’t enough but the emergency brought truer lovers to my side.

Soon, our home will be full of safe places. And in the safety net of this winter hovel, their fingers will find the holes where hope doesn’t seep out — but love does. My places where I am wet and warm. Where teeth clamp down and bruises bloom and all this –because we want to.

Bcause we say “yes” crystal clear, and consent is the first step toward the real. I consent to be loved again. Every day.

My word for this year is coming. Rising. Approaching. I feel its tug, its weight, its pull in my blood. One more week and I will be on the floor, bent knees beside old and new friends, writing out patterns of my dreams for a whole cycle of this sphere around the nearest star that gives us not just light — but life. A chance in the vastness of everything to survive. To thrive. We will make paper lanterns, decorated, and light them to burn into the night.

It will be a prayer for myself, for you, for my lovers, and for the world.

When it flies into the sky, toward the atmosphere, I will be approaching not just the sky, but the earth.

As I write tonight, I am pressed gently by the dark of another long night. But sweet herbed seeds and gentle purple flowers float as one in my tea. And — oh Fen! — how much better you make me feel now.

And Tryst: you are the quiet secret agreement by which I move through the hardest part of the year. Winter and death and snow cover are here. I have glimpsed the white though black backed branches in distant puffy white wrapped mountains.

New characters now made fully mine: tonight I sleep, not alone, but with you tonight.

Come to me in dreams or by waking half-thoughts. Come through the filament of my carefully arranged heartstrings. Come, let me see and touch your face. Come with me and let’s play.

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