Wednesday, March 16, 2022

A Witch I Could Not Pacify

Smell of hay, winter morning. Snow on the roof sliding down by inches in sunlight. Skin on skin, the old dream of healing. Shall we no longer defend ourself or otherwise take conflict as real?

Morning coffee and other elisions. Jasper comes by with a pair of lake trout, Chrisoula groans while I prep them for frying. The body is invisible sometimes, the way at night stones in the river appear to disappear. Brushing away salt, not finished with tears, not by a long shot.

What would Socrates say? Dust on the shelves through which I trace a finger, bring the finger to my lips, kiss it gently, gratefully. Collectors of elephants and other symbols of this love we can only manage in increments. Act justly indeed.

This loneliness, does it have a name that might distinguish it from other lonelinesses? 

Years ago going for long walks down the river at dusk, ending up in the forest at night, swimming through deep channels, facing two women the only way I knew how. In the cosmos, a single daisy to which my father's life is tethered, which I dare not pluck. The holiness of the apple trees in mid-winter, how easy it is to miss the Lord.

Rachel Pollack's devil, the most helpful presentation yet. Hours later, Chrisoula visits me in the hayloft, asks if I am okay, and the sorrow I feel at the grief I bring forth in others once again rises to my shoulders, drags me further out to sea than is safe or viable. Gunshots and Gary Gilmore. I have never been lost in a forest, never met a witch I could not pacify, but my heart is a dead vault, and the red bird that gave it life long gone to the other side of a vast lake my sins forbid me from crossing.

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