the dust is alive

Beneath my bed there is a phenomenon of thunderous clouds, otherwise known as dust.

And when I reach my scratched arms out to collect what has gathered there, I find a receipt for a book.

I find a love letter that I never signed, that I never licked into envelope, that I never owned.

I find a meal that is unrecognizable under this chaos of soot.

I find a song attached to a broken guitar string that I also did not own.

I find a reverie of anger, of disappoint of lip-less fury.

I find my reflection without the red, without the skin, without the smile, without without.

(…)

The dust asks me: You run from so many things, how come your ankles aren’t sturdy/ how come your thighs are loose/ why don’t your calves display muscles?

And I answer: The kind of running I do doesn’t get me very far.

This weathered dirt says: Go challenge the wind. Plant a garden across your belly and see what grows. Engage in three versions of lust with a musician or botanist or star gazer or sidewalk. Nap along the seams of the earth.

None of this is easy. The realization that the dust will continue to form no matter how many times I sweep it away. It follows me. Creeps out from corners and dark crevices. Like the powdered age bursting from forgotten books. So, I attempt a collection of these particles. I pretend to be a scientist as I gather up hypotheses of what all this leftover waste could mean. None of this is easy. The search for a job that qualifies me as an adult, as a functioning member of society, as someone impersonating someone else who can afford rent each month. This sense of belonging.

I want to be able to say: I belong to this earth. I came from the ocean. From salted womb. I am a poet. I am heard. I am understood. I am gathered.

For now, I’ll just push my limbs deeper into this web of dust and find my way out of its mystery.

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