Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
It is almost winter and autumn is just beginning to fade away into mid-November. The fog looms over the brown twigs and earth; a thin white veil, transparent enough to allow in only the faintest memory of the bright colors of summer-time. The moment is still as a baby bird. Like a painting it hangs on the wall of a very famous and old museum. People come here often and wish they could jump inside of it. Out of the tired and gray places where they learn to rest their heads. Into the timeless promise of nature, serenity and eternity. Here the people are always smiling, sipping on green tea in tiny porcelain tea cups their grandmothers left in passing. Warmth is never left behind in a fire place built of brick. Not in this place. Nor is it ever left in the arms of lovers or in the loyalty of a dog. It is taken everywhere in tiny containers hand crafted out of tin and glass and wood. It is the most important and necessary element that can be found anywhere in the world. It is the ingredient for life. It is love and it is in every corner of every bungalow and every mansion. It is found in every coat pocket and in every molecule that makes up a rocking chair and a fire fly and a canoe. It is everywhere and easily found if you just open your eyes.
Look for me on the mountaintop, where the Spanish rain pours down like honey dew and mist. I will be the one holding the flame, whistling the song, remembering your name. I will be the one with the rhyme and the music and the white swan. I have not moved from this place in centuries. The books have all been read. The letters have all been sent. The rules have all been broken. But your voice remains as silent and vague as a red Indian summer. The love is sticky, the voices are trapped inside the mirrors. Nothing is going right without you here. The architect builds everything leaning slightly to the left. I lean into you, into your memory, into the wide and open moon. It's dark tonight. It's black and beautiful. It's everything, but it's not you.
It is winter, and it’s summer, then the light fades into autumn. When I see you I am in another story written by another author. But then you pull me out of my shirt and out of my skin and I am in the river again where everyone is dancing. I find freedom in the blue grass and saxophones. I find your lighter and your voice in the latest hour of the night. It is just the two of us in a storm of cigarette smoke and an unbelievable imagination. And I don't know who imagined who, if it was me or if it was you.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
I am eight years old and it’s time to go to sleep. The champagne glasses are clinking downstairs in the living room. I can hear them very well but I don’t know if I’m dreaming them up or if it’s really happening. They sound like stars. Grandma is rocking slowly in the old oak rocking chair. She reminds me of the sea and the frosted tips of waves gliding over my feet. She is the safe haven where my childhood is preserved. She is the one who tells me stories and reassures me that, no matter how many times I stain the carpet with grape juice, my family will always love me. Outside the crickets are singing lullabies in the shadows of the thickets. Outside the crickets are dancing the waltz with the fireflies. The night feels infinite and warm. I don’t need a blanket but I keep it tucked under my chin because it feels like an extra pair of arms hugging me, like the entire world is embracing me, telling me that this is where I belong and this is where I will find love. The clinking, fizzing, bubbling and popping of the champagne has faded. Half of where I am is filled with spelling bees, bicycle trips to the ice cream shop and Saturday morning cartoons. But soon all of me will be where the other half is....
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
I don’t know about the world. I don’t know about the creatures that live and love deep down in the ocean. I can’t name all the far away globes of light and gas in the sky and I don’t know about the pearls behind your ears. I don’t know Greek mythology or how many times to water a plant to keep it alive and green. I’ve read many books, but hardly any of the classics, and the only museums I like to visit are graveyards. I can’t taste a difference between organic and regular milk and I still forget to recycle. I don’t know about the promise of wealth and beauty buried miles below the earth. I don’t know how to skip a stone across a pond but I think our love is a lot like those ripples that expand until they become a part of everything and you no longer can tell what is love and what isn’t. I think I know that our love is a lot like that.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Saturday, June 06, 2009
There is a pause that is as threatening as an impending nuclear attack. It floats with menace between the two spots we both seem to be rooted to. Neither of us move, not away from each other, not closer to one another. Or maybe we both desperately want to but don’t know in which direction the other will go.
Then, as suddenly as church bells toll, he takes my hand in his and the distance between us is closed for good. “All right,” he says. It was as simple as that and as majestic as the church bells ring-a-ding-dinging to announce a brand new day.
Outside in the street the crowd is dispersing. People are making their way home, hand in hand, body leaning against body for support, for a closeness that is fed by vulnerability. No one wants to get lost on a dark night like this. One street lamp is out and for a split second I don’t notice that he actually has followed me out. But when I feel someone brush up against me as softly as a feather landing on the pavement, I know it’s him. I can smell his cologne and I recognize it as the same brand I bought him for his birthday three years ago. I wonder if it’s the same bottle. I wonder if he’s going to follow me all the way home.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Remember that time you almost drowned? Remember when the lake rose high up above us and swallowed us whole? The moon floated down that night and when I looked up again you were an angel, you were pouring yourself a glass of wine. I didn’t drink. I acted like this was all a movie. I acted and read the script wrong and changed your name to Alexander. You wanted something more unique, I just wanted you to be dependable. The earth stopped spinning that night and that’s when I realized you weren’t even looking at me and her name was prettier than mine. You poured her a glass of wine and the music faded. You still took her hand and danced the waltz and I lost the color red. You danced the waltz with her and I couldn’t climb the mountain. You danced with her and the only thing left of me was a disposal camera with zero room left for pictures.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Take me to your silent movie. Lean out the window and pray for rain. I still have that night in the library playing on the radio. Bring the love you found with you to the old abandoned warehouse, the one where the lost can always be found. I found you. I crawled out of the sea and found warm dry land. I fell from the sky and found gravity in your backbone, in your prairie lips, in your many lives. The moment you started talking I forgot the way out. I forgot how to inhale smoke from a cigarette, I forgot how to cut a straight line. I forgot how to be practical and end all my sentences with the correct punctuation.
We started out as a simple folk song. By the time you left I couldn’t name the genre, but it was probably the blues.
You found me in a broken place where the light barely reached my finger tips. You took me home to warm my hands and clothed me in your silent book of prayers. You talked of understanding, of painting the world in white. I never understood a single word of your mystery but it kept me lingering outside your door until I was home again.
In every wish there is a tree where flowers break and bloom,
like hearts on strings and puppeteers on Sunday afternoons.
On lakes of ice and beds of nails the lovers dance their song
of incandescent melodies where the devil sings along.
In every book, on every page, in hands, on trains, in time,
there is a certain harmony that plays a broken song.
In summertime, in hills of green, through tunnels and the rain,
a child plays the violin in gratitude and shame.
It’s a hot afternoon, the rain has gone missing. The flowers are aching in the heat of the moment. I wish I could write you, I wish we could wander, but the streets are so strange now and our stories don’t matter. I still read sometimes, by a lake or on a train. The conductor doesn’t mind that I skip all the parts about easy love and drunk Hawaiian sunset. The air is very real here, because of all the ghosts colliding into me. Sometimes it sounds like birds singing, sometimes it sounds like the static on the radio, sometimes I don’t recognize your voice until it’s too late. Until you’re back on the other side of the mirror. Until the wax has melted and the flame has gone out. Until the movie has ended and I’m waking up from your dream.
The flowers bloom in Barcelona in a dome of widened light,
that’s what you told me in a letter on a hidden Wednesday night.
The evening drips with circumstance in photographs and rhyme,
my shirt sleeves stained with ink and spells from a forgotten space and time.
The movies that we used to name, the books we used to read,
are coming back in ghostly frames of paintings and red beads.
The name of you, the thought of me, a button on a string.
The irreplaceable demand of holding hands in spring.
The brisk moon air, a fallen leaf, a tumbleweed delight.
A night in June in trodden Rome, a mystery of fright.
A cable car, a written poem, a tentative place and time.
A letter written to a girl to fill her up with wine.
A pristine thing, a hidden song, a cinema in Spain,
a ballet dancer’s poetry of moving in the rain.
There is a dream that comes to life in a dimly lit cafe. An old man slumps on a stool and prays for perfection, he always sings out of tune. His signal is lost, his transistor radio is broken. Lovers from Madrid kiss the bottled wine, praise the architecture of falling deeply, landing softly. Silver spoons and coffee cups change into something you could write about: This is about caring, this is about love, this is about misunderstanding. This is about the little things we miss.
Now you’re in it too. Collar up and heart undone. Two buttons for eyes and history books without the love letters, without the names and ghosts and children. And you’re emptying out your pockets, with the rest of the stuff that you call junk and that I call happy endings.