There is a doorway just beyond my right eye. It remains locked – the blood caught there, built upon itself to remain an eternal bruise. It clogs itself with some kind of memory – memory of a little girl moving against metal and then breaking her mind. It congests itself, leaves me frustrated when I can’t see into the darkness to get beyond it. What would be on the other side? Where would I be if I hadn’t stumbled? Could it be excavated, or are the fallen things meant to always be buried by the blood?
Snakes kill by suffocating, and Amir felt as though he would die by freedom. His movements still led him to all the places of others, paths crossing and getting in each other’s way. His brown legs, naked under the sheets, were woven around and through Beth’s own. Each a weight to hold and be held down by, but not to leave any mark of memory nor come with the coolness of an unexpected or unwanted touch. It’s the sheltering that we feel under the vast sky, Amir realized, which lends itself to either hanging or healing. It was why she had come to see him tonight, why she had come to confess and be held by him; but with mechanical arms, ones neither impassioned or needing from her. He moved his closer to Beth’s body, pressed his head deep into her neck, and felt the space between them collapse down into that sacred place on his forehead where the gun had last touched.
Where do we go after we die? We settle down onto the tongues of those who knew us; those who loved us or hated us enough to keep our stories after they’re finished. We sit in the wide mouths of the living; we sit swimming in much different waters than those of our mothers’ before we were born. And we rest there until we’re spoken of enough to finally be forgotten; swallowed and consumed by that black hold of a memory we each have inside us. Our energy breaks apart into pieces, spread out among the living, and we wait until we hear our name called again upon their lips. Then, and only then, we can stand tall up to meet those words, alive again in the stories, playing out the memory of the ones who now direct us. We hope they remember us well. We hope in that strange place between moments, between dying and death, we can live again in the good parts of our lives. Did we do the right things? Did we love them enough? How long will you hear that calling on the echo of your heartbeat, there on the other side of silence?
Stop for now. Let the sun circle you for once. Let the moon change your mind. Love for now. And watch the puddles turn back to rain. Let your self grow young again. Turn for now From the ways you’ve gotten used to seeing yourself. Let your face be strange again. Learn for now From something familiar beside you Here resting high on the crescent of your noon. Wait for now. Take the moment in as a breath inside you Let it feed your lungs with the memory of a million years. Leave for now. Allow the sad ones their crying. Don’t take the pleasure of drying their tears.
One minus one. You are alone in wanting me always to say something that is true. Others are fine with me telling them what they want to hear. But you, not you. You want to know what I know. It’s easier to start in the negative. I do not believe in God. I do not believe in luck. I do not even believe in America. How then could I ever believe in you?
I just heard the hand of the clock on the wall move to mark the passing of another afternoon. I’ve sat in this room for hours now, and not before now had I noticed the tick of the clock. After I heard it for the first time, I sought to hear it again. I focused as to will it into sound, letting other voices in the room echo away to leave room for it alone. Would it make the same noise as it leapt forward again? Was it a mark on the mechanics, a flaw, in that spot that caused it or was it something I had just been missing all those other moments before? Sometime I do that, stalk and startle myself when I realize I had taught myself to ignore that which is obvious and always near me. And then suddenly I see something – a small crack in the molding of my awareness and a little memory or image pokes through. I have walls in here, inside me, chambers of things that I do not talk about. They are fears, sometimes, of futures that will not be realized; they are memories, sometimes, of pasts I deny or try to bend around and way from in light of who it is I am trying to be today. It is never a brilliant thing to keep hidden, no sparkling blue or silver lining on the underside of my skin, some secret beauty I can’t share. No, mine are markers of time, small noises echoing every once in a while within the wake of another Saturday afternoon.