Sunday, April 12, 2020

Off to the Forest

In the photograph she turns to the right, where the light is, and where her eyes are hidden from me, a black strap nestling the soft flesh of her shoulder, the seam of her breasts meeting near the center of the photograph. A lot of fear about performance disappears in the performance, as if the future itself were the problem - not the various presents of which the future is comprised. Well, we get close to things and our breath catches but then it's off to the forest, off to the river. Ten thousand poems and not once did I see her shirt sail through the room like a relieved ghost, feel her hand on my thigh as she steadied herself leaning. Ben asks if I want to fish for shad this year and I shrug. Last fall hunting quail reminded me of my fundamental aversion both to death and loud noises. Not everything has to come off, lest we run out of stories. The gift proper was always the halo of my attention in which the Lord arises through no effort of my own. Well, it's not for everyone and I'm not either. I keep putting off the inevitable as if certain women are going to suddenly see through their wedding vows to the sacred river where I've been working as a ferryman for twenty thousand years. Heraclitus visits - Pan and Thoreau and James Hillman, too - but I'm after something else now. A partner for what happens when you walk away from God? A helpmeet for the little shed when I sleep when the ferry's in the dock? Or is there a clearing in a forest in Vermont somewhere that waits patiently on us to make the other naked and take the whole of them in our mouth in a salty - a most thunderous - amen?

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