Saturday, December 11, 2021
Neither A Sin Nor A Crime
A fine snow falling at six a.m., unexpected, a loveliness, a setting in which to stand by the horses muttering versions of "thanks for loving my daughters." It was the speed with which the guns killed that frightened me most, as if while bleeding out the sheep and pigs and cows could at least manage a last look, a farewell, a final cry or bellow from the gushing ruins of their throats. Imagine being nine years old and knowing that Gary Gilmore was a bad man who deserved punishment, yet also knowing the terrible loneliness of a man who is dead and knows he is going to die. The river flows in darkness all night, its low murmur reaching me on the cold back porch where I go for whatever comfort remains to be scratched from the world. Everything I let go of comes back - old pains, old stories, unworkable ideas, embarrassing love letters - as if I were a kingdom, a black hole, the cosmos. A woman who takes your hand at the right moment, finds you in the hayloft with that look on your face and approaches removing her shirt, no word spoken much less needed. The terrible penance visited on my mother's mother for what was neither a sin nor a crime, and how all her children paid, and how all their children paid and now look. Tell me again it's okay to be scared, wade into the deeps, build a fire where it's darkest. Remember throwing pennies in the wishing well at the mall growing up and remember wishing? We fuck tenderly, kissing after, both of us crying a little because of how long it took to find our way back here. Between stars, darkness, yet between darknesses, this light that never goes out.
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