Sunday, April 19, 2020

Emily Dickinson was No Stranger

Who is watching? At night, before anyone else is awake, I take my dreams into the cold hay loft, spread them before me like Tarot cards, and kneel and pray to still-hidden gods. When my eyes that can see open and see what they see is the moon in strange locations, as if teaching me that the order to which I'm clinging will no longer suffice. These antique glass bottles half-filled with sand and stones, these cheap prisms dangling off fishing line and kite string. What but the Lord would afford so much blessing to one who offers so little? Hansel is forever at the mercy of women which for most of my life I've translated into a tense alliance between obedience and seduction but what if that's not what works? Just after the first light of dawn - a blue hint of hills to which Emily Dickinson was no stranger - birds begin singing about food and mating and food. Without shoes I go forward on the crusty snow of late February, as deep into the song as I can, and at last see how it will never be enough. Before the snake, was the toad merely resigned or frozen with grief and terror? I was seven years old and nobody told me the dog was going to die until just before the dog was shot. Witches know something about hunger that you don't, which is why you're still on your knees. Oh Sean, invoke Christ or don't but for Christ's sake invoke. "My pretties," she croons, "my chickadees."

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