LEAVES

we walk alone together

Month: October, 2015

You wake and realize you are broken. Taking the arm that is limp with the hand that is not, you bring yourself to the sink. Sponging the arm soothes it slightly but pain aside, it is still icy, so you leave it on kitchen counter to thaw. Eventually there will be a puddle around that arm.

All around you are people with faces that are ordinary but frightening. There is a man with thick spectacles that seem to swallow his face, like the mouth of a hippopotamus stretching open to present teeth. He grins at you, crinkling his papery eyes. You wave, heart in your mouth.

The train is somewhere near the sprawling sea now. Your arm is thawed, and warm, slick with blood like a newborn. You find, in the coat on your lap, a chiffon scarf that is softly pink. As you tie it to your wet arm, you are on the platform, a cluster of trees forming a circle around you. The scarf sags a little from the soaked up fluid.

The trees form a thin canopy, allowing sunlight to seep through and coat your hair flax into gold. You sense something liquid warm at the center of your body. Then – you have grown taller, can now smell the leafiness of the canopy, can see now, up close, that the leaves are dancing against one another. At this height the light is harsher; you begin to perspire.

At the edge of the water now, you are naked except for the pink scarf still knotted at your arm, now a deeper colour because of the blood that has stained the scarf, and the sweat that has stained the blood. Water at your feet, kissing each toe like lovers. You breathe. Already waist-deep, the arm with the scarf held above your head, dry, fluttering like tails, swimming but keeping very, very still.

You have burned a home into my heart.
Living room walls shiver at the center,
Beating their leaves like wings. Light won’t
Find it. Bedsheets cling to and walk through
Floors. You can see the moon enduring time.
Leaning in. It loses the stars which found
Faster ways to die. These cold fires
Hold up entire skies: silk hammocks that
Rock you to sleep.

/

Across – tiny men scurry, smiling,
Tugging swashes of silk, squatting
Upon glass, painting with tinier brushes
Transparent bodies and portraits of
Effigies. They dress the tavern in a storm
Into a chapel, or a museum. Public
Sanctuaries. Light slipping in, heads
Dipping, coating themselves once,
Twice.