Sunday, December 5, 2021

Shadows in which Gorgons Waken

Rather than pray I write, hours passing in the chilly hayloft, sentences like strings of holiday lights strung around the rafters. Stars brighter than seems possible. Mushrooms in me eclipse certain suns in me, leaving vast shadows in which gorgons waken, drag themselves to the cave's mouth, praising the sun and moon. This is not what it's like to have no clue! I spent four hours in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam and all I remember is talking to a woman on a stairwell, we had met days earlier on a train, and how confused I was to be rendered familiar so far away from home. Mexican chocolate, German beer. Tides recede, leaving room to scavenge, an invitation I have never declined. Doors we wish we had never opened are now fallen off their hinges, and the world is what passes through, screaming and brandishing knives. We were always political. Chrisoula goes quiet in the face of Reagan family demons showing up around bedtime, a sort of ongoing wreckage, a high bridge collapsing in slow motion, a steam train spiraling into the river, a dialogue choking off at a seminal interval to begin again hours later in darkness. One begs, consents, forgives, uplifts. I was a child, young, the snakes writhed dying - somewhere in me I heard their screams - and the woman who killed them threw their bodies far into the forest, a grand and religious gesture that to this day I cannot help but celebrate. This is a garden, not a chapel, a pussy, not a war council. Together we remember to remember.

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