Thursday, May 26, 2022

Hearing a Different Song

Bartenders I’ve known, including one whose name I forget, middle of the day in Burlington, the two of us talking about our Dads and how good they were at tracking deer. So much of this life passed in explanations, only a few of which ended up mattering. At a distance, voices, or are the voices themselves the distance. Stargazing never gets old.
We take blankets out back, build a fire, sit together talking like in the old days before kids, until she dozes off, head on my lap, and I enter the beautiful stillness of the fire going out, the world going dark, this woman - this love - all that remains. Without warning. And the day passes, and I cannot find a way to be sad, it’s like all the grief just disappeared. Sunflowers dapple the cosmos.
Let it be known that you are not required to maximize everything. Licking her pussy, thinking of willow trees by the rivers of my childhood. Smooth stones you could hold a long time in your mouth. I’ve made mistakes, made amends where I can, forgotten a lot, what else can you do.
Slipping onto the back porch roof to smoke pot, stars breathing – or pulsing anyway – high overhead, my heart full and for a few minutes I am so happy I could float away. Ferns in shadowy places. Wanting to walk with you through the Heath Fair, hold your hand, not say much, maybe share a lemonade and fries. In my mind I am a good dancer, I ask Chrisoula if I am a good dancer, she says “well, you are a subtle dancer,” to which I say, “what the fuck is that supposed to mean,” to which Fionnghuala says – calling from the next room – “you always look like you're hearing a different song than everyone else.”
Advances, advents, artefacts, alley cats. I wonder sometimes what sleep was like for my ancestors – the way far back ones, the pagans and nomads. Ma keeps Dad’s wedding ring in a heart-shaped bowl by a picture of them at what looks like a Christmas party. Driving at night, windows down, full moon blooding the horizon, let's go faster further than we planned, yeah?

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