Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Your Mother Staring at the Christmas Tree

Jesus, too, is illusion. How red the light is in the hemlock trees, four of them left near the chickens, alternately begging and haunting me. Late in life I want a new story about dying, one in which I am not required to hate myself in order to live another day. 

Do you pause between stanzas and if so how long? I remember wanting to kiss a woman on the banks of a river whose name I refuse to remember. Jesus says quietly "I would climb on that cross again for you" and I scream and punch the wall because it's still what I need to hear. 

I don't set traps despite promising to set traps, knowing the mice and rats are getting into the potatoes, yet wanting so badly to be finished killing animals. I read that fucking story ten times ten thousand times before I understood who Pilate was and whose hands were being washed. I remember kissing a woman on the banks of a river in Vermont - a river whose name escapes me - and being briefly perfectly happy.

How bored one becomes! Going outside to piss at midnight, mist rising off piles of snow alongside the barn. You think you're finished with anger and yet here is your mother staring at the Christmas tree you just put up for her and you know you are not done with anger because your mother is not done with anger.

Maybe this hurt is not a mystery? Firestone reframes separation, every sentence a heavy nail against a very familiar cross. In a dream a woman I want to kiss on my knees in a river says quietly "you can't keep taking symptoms to the healing fire, Sean." 

My poor grandmother! Gazes we avoid, gazes we cannot avoid to save our lives. Chrisoula calls to say the kids expect me for Sunday advent dinner and so I appear after many days away, unshaven and unsteady, the interior uncle saying quietly haven't you hurt them enough. 

This is one of the ways it happens apparently, you're not special. Yet another morning with the blind horse, learning this new way of seeing. 

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