A hot summer evening, hot enough
to lay my tireless, unending head
on the pillow for its coolness;
thunder cracking down
and the rain slanting in sideways, wetting
the paisley curtains.
Somewhere out in that dark the pine
that surrounds me soaks.
These nights I am not climbing up
the roots of forgotten things,
I am not clawing
for something solid to breathe my air into,
the old familiar ache of
wanting to feel through my own skin so hard
that I push through like a broken bone
because I am here, in a
of awakening, sometimes only to another dream
only to wake up again
and I stand in the mirror across the room,
and the lightning
floods the black kitchen
and I see a flash of my eyes in the reflection
–my image, so alive that it’s white
heat snags the clouds in a jolt.
There is a calm that never seems to tire,
embedded in my veins, the blood flowing
and I wait
for my mind to revert towards the habits
of self negligence and fear
but I am a cyclical rhythm
that sustains itself
and I know a small part in me believes
that I have won something with
my own two hands and tampered mind
when I had had no hands to grip with–
a blind privacy and a last call out to the only thing left
I had left for dead in the gutter, camouflaged in an alley
as elegant graffiti, crumbling brick, a broken phone booth–
the shards of glass scattered out across the pavement
“did you see the moon? in the pieces of glass?” my will asks me
“I wasn’t looking down,” I reply
“so then you looked up and saw the moon instead, love?” my will is relentless
“No, I tired of dreaming. Hold it up to my face, the glass, and see if I shake,”
My will smiles, “straight ahead then, love, beaten and brighter…”
And my daughter is asleep tucked away
in the corner of the house;
the coffee is off,
and the flowers I just planted
out in the window-box
are getting beaten but maybe brighter;
it is enough to have these nights.
We are not born with a religion in our mind.
We are not born with a narrative or a script.
Tell me you have the courage
to scrawl across your own body
the tattoo of your story,
and would you let someone read it?
*image Noell Oszvald