Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A Cluster of Signifiers

What are the living but hosts for the dead.

I drive slowly through small towns where I grew up, going home.

In my confusion, I forgot many things that were named and some that were not named but should have been.

Gazing north, frustrated with how certain readers are approaching the evolving text for which I am presently responsible, a brightness appears as the whole of the back field. It is like gazing through a halo at the creator of a beloved angel. Goldenrod encased in ice melts in sunlight and as it melts straightens, causing water and ice to fall.

One longs for a companion who needs no defense of these - and other - prismatic flourishes.

Deer prints, deer scat, blue jays. Ravens mistaken for crows.

The forest is a cluster of signifiers, beginning with the stone wall property line.

Growing up in Worthington, it was almost always summer. Winter came and went in a few afternoons. I don't remember much about school, save confusion about standing in line. Dead animals were a recurring horror, both at home and in the woods. Shadows fell, doors closed. I was always "getting away."

On my fifty-third birthday my mother gives me a picture of my late father at twenty-five holding me on his lap, three months old, both of us beaming. Chrisoula leans against the counter while I rant, then later in bed makes love to me quietly, gently leading us through a tender ritual, holding me after when at last I can cry.

Always we face the impossibility of how love comes to what love can come to in the space of what else love comes to. Somewhere shy of the end I sense the ancestors gathering, curious how these last chapters of mine are going to tie things up.

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