Sunday, March 2, 2014

My Fear of Hunger

There is only so much desire I can bear. Hence, North. When I waken, the moon is encased in blue light and the snow is reaching up to it and I walk slowly across the fields, growing lighter with each step. Far off - possibly one town over - coyotes sing and their song runs hot needles through the blood, songs that thread joy to death and to hell with regret. This writing, this way.

Years ago I wrote thirty thousand sentences about hunger, my fear of hunger, and for weeks after stayed up until two or three a.m., feet dangling in the fire pond while ghosts wandered up and down the far bank through drifting yellow mists. Noon is worse. A companion is imperative. The dog hesitates near the old airstrip, looking at me as if to ask if there is another way which there is not. Back at the house, Chrisoula made tea and waited, and a little snow fell despite the clear skies.

One can admire the artifice of narrative yet to do so properly requires clarity about what is made vs. what is created (and by whom). Further down the trail, deeper into the forest is my real name, my secret name, the one given me by crows who forty days after my birth rocked the wooden cradle beside which my mother fitfully slept. Gratitude is redemptive, cheese extravagant, and the female cardinal a Godly signifier. Logs break in the stove and the dog starts, returns to dreams, and the man without shoes pours another whiskey and accepts another sentence. Letters never sent are not without effect.

After dinner we read Dickinson aloud to one another until we arrive at "bulletins from immortality" and fall quiet in order to learn. One pictures swans floating across a quiet inlet and further in the distance pale triangular sails mistaken for whitecaps. My mother was not unwilling to share her personal spiritual cartography but was genuinely puzzled as to how. Twilight grazes amidst baby pine trees planted two years ago when the horse was still alive. We merit love, we repair each other's socks.

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