“If we catch only a little of our subject, or only badly, clumsily, incoherently, perhaps we have not destroyed it. We have written about it, written it and allowed it to live on at the same time, allowed it to live on in our ellipses, our silences.” –Lydia Davis
First, decide if it is unfinished. If you speak no, then you are wrong. How can anything be done if everything which surounds us is a draft. This air has been circulated and past along and will never exist the same.
All of this is a broken silence.
Interrupt the fragment of your tongue. Barge into your sentence with a sequence of yawns or teeth-clicks.
Everything has been done before but not right now in this moment like this.
Discontinue judgement that the salt staining the outsides of your eyes is misbehaving. When your friend confesses they permit only one day per year for tears, interrupt them with a squeeze. Insist upon the need for emptying. Otherwise, there’d be no room for any of us.
Even patterns deserve an interruption. Diet your hair and cut away some weight. Not everything on a body needs to be symmetrical. There does not need to be a reason for elbow pads or bandages.
Travel — down a different block or past state lines. Interrupt your weekly session of chores. Pretend someone is following you.
And at the end of an evening, say goodnight to something else. Not the moon or your lover. Kiss goodbye the wood keeping you warm at night. Or whisper ‘i love you’ to the window panes or vents or the cat which bellows when the dark arrives.
Interrupt your gratitude for those which rarely get noticed.
Leonard Cohen wrote, “Ring the bells that still can ring/ forget your perfect offering/ there is a crack in everything/ that is how the light gets in.”
I cannot recall the age in which someone tapped me on my shoulder and I became egg-like. I cannot recall the moment when I learned how to swim out of my own body into something safer like a cage made from those egg shells held together by yolk. I cannot recall that first beating of ink against paper of blood extracted from body of memories sucked out from Winter shivers.
How it gets in/ is through the ruptures of skin/ climbing their way out of me.
There is a city and at night, it crawls into my bedroom and sleeps on top of me. It honks open my eyes; it stains my belly from oil-slicked subways and all those footprints of folks too afraid to turn themselves off at night; it leaves track marks on my arms because when there is nowhere else to park (to be still), movement is continuous and angry.
In this city, I rest my body over an informal puddle of leaves. They are wet and easily molded over me. Sometimes when I feel invisible, I cover myself in these leaves and feed myself to the trees.
I’m not quite sure what you mean by this. I’m not quite sure if you are trying to tell me something. I’m not quite sure if you love me still. I’m not quite sure if this job defines me or if I’ve lost my definition. I’m not quite sure if I will make it to Spring. I am not quite sure if love is just a wind pattern blowing toward the northwest. I am not quite sure if this body is allergic to milk or me. I am not quite sure if I understand your intention. I am not quite sure where home is. I am not quite sure we can even decipher our own spoils…
Turn the light off, please. It’s slurping up the energy stored in our walls and soon this house will crumble. Unplug all the outlets. How much water do you really need at night? If the light really wants to get in, then remain still enough for it to catch you.