Where does this go when the skin peels, the hair loses its grip, the walker crouches in wait for the next sure step, and the kingfisher dives off shore, the deer loves what lets her stay alive in spite of all, the bear lumbers from side to side but makes up ground as long as his eyes see what’s coming. I no longer know questions to ask. I have no answers that I could broach and bring true with time, how can I promise the wondrous when all I own is never my own . . .
Now if I may, let me tell you again how much I love you and for you to listen to me say I know nothing may be little more than a sudden storm sending you fresh tears to brush away and let dry. I did not mean to love life without you. I did not love life without you. I do not love life without you. I do my Orson Welles voice, or Richard Burton, and who do I think I mimic but some version of myself escaped from the flat land, the pine hills, the tundra here, the tundra there, and all the rivers I loved are elsewhere, and if I took you to a river you have already sat by, listening to its sound, observing how its flow moves, sometimes in circles, usually ahead of itself, water being like blood, we never catch up until the day is late, the night near.
Before I was seventeen I loved talking to myself. I once lived like a hermit but in my forties, but I said nothing, listened when there were sounds, and dreaded what I feared, but what was that? There was an end to that. And an end to the end. How can I tell you everything?
Let the actors act, they lose the line between their roles and their lives, and the more talented lose what they have, and despite the Buddha they do not grasp, they want only what they have when it no longer waits and they have waited too long while animals drink river water, the forest harbors its birds, the birds that carry what they have to seed the roots of the trees.
The no-mind knows everything. The hand that cradles its fingers touch you. Above, the bo tree moves slightly in the wind. There may be many views of the same thing, but each appears when you rise and take your body off to the town where deer and bear go freely, though there is the sound of a bolt sliding into place and a sharp crack followed by night,
more night. And some angel comes through the window in my sleep, a fallen angel most likely. The big moon shows her the way. I take her in and she takes over and nothing ever is the same. I could complain. She may not stay. If I love her good she takes no time to think, Is he loving me or loving himself, is he true or is he a living lie, has he fallen as far as I, and why
. . . all these excuses, drawbacks, apologies, dignities and indignities, embarrassments, rigors of discipline not even I know how to follow though follow I must as well as direct what the blood does that I feel in the fingers that write this one key at a time, it doesn’t matter how fast the little black letters move, there is no end but the breath’s and the way it runs out . . .
(26 December 2010)
copyright 2010 by Floyce Alexander