Sunday, December 19, 2021

Something I have not yet Learned to Give

Moonlight on the river, a thousand hemispheres floating through the night. The first time a woman took my balls in her mouth, how I thought about them differently for days after. Soft clouds at dusk, Mount Greylock jutting rock-like into the sky. When you were young, what promises did you make that you did not keep, and what is that child saying in you, in the corners to which you have banished her? Pine cones around the chicken pen, tracks of feral cats. Fewer and fewer hayfields and other losses I opt to mentally catalog, to what end who knows. I miss Worthington, have always missed Worthington, and in so other many ways am never not in Worthington. Little babies keeping secrets in baskets floating through reeds. You have all these ideas about Jesus and then somebody looks at you sideways and every mailbox you ever swallowed starts spitting rocks and sawdust. Christmas decorations on the porch, ads tacked to phone poles for missing cats. Would you lean, would you kneel, would you swallow. I write "desert" and stop, wondering why in my mind I see oceans, how soft and beautiful the sea is when you're out of sight of land, each swell a continent, full of light and grace. Proving Machado wrong, a step I did not expect to take. My mother's mother visits often now, occupying the same corner of the bedroom as the rest of the dead, but unlike them she does not speak, only stares at me, as if waiting for something I have not yet learned to give. I always sit to remove my belt, I learned this way of being clear with respect to power. Saint Jude pray for us indeed.

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