For you who wake up, if you wakeup, in the morning, I would like to say I see them too: the bison left skinless and without tongues, on a hallway carpet wet with wasted blood. And the gods – they live within the ravens pecking at the pink bison bodies. The angels … a wake of naked-faced vultures.
If it seems I am writing for you, please forgive my presumption.
I am tired. Tired of breathing the way they say we should breathe. Tired of the vitamins …what the fuck is the deal with vitamins? Tired of the dead hound-dog fermenting in the stomach. Tired of good-intentioned “I’ve been there before” and “here’s how to get better.” Fuck better. And please, would the positive thinkers think in silence? I don’t care for the trees or the grass – their greenness and blossoms are irrelevant. And the clouds – it makes no difference if they are black or fluffy or shift into I don’t care what shapes. And I will not “get out of the house.” You get out. The inside is no worse than the outside. And I will not take a cold shower, or soak in the tub until my skin bunches up and falls off.
They mean well I suppose. If I could just show them the bison and the vultures …
I am not irrational. Neither are you. Let no one make that claim. I think … on my worst days I believe we are like pocket watches that wind down and stop and get lost in someone’s hope chest, or buried in a time capsule beside a house the living leave behind.
But I know better.
I’ve spent days sending my body up in smoke. I’ve latched onto the wind and passed over and away from the red rocks of Southern Utah. I’ve lived for weeks in Spain as an African immigrant looking for work or food or one consistant friend. I’ve played possum, as a possum, on a countryside, shoulder-less road. I’ve been the air, stretched and compressed, within the black bell of an oboe.
I’ve died ten-thousand deaths. And lived ten-thousand lives.
I’ve seen angels ascend their one-way ladder. Their expressions are filled with relief, as if they had wanted to die. As if their strength came from that want.
I’ve slept under sycamores, pulled wads of grass to my nose, drunk tea in china. And the sunsets … I forget which ones were red and which orange, or purple, magenta, or simple diminishing pink…
Tonight, I think it’s enough. I have seen them enough.
And all of you, who are not yet ready to go – as I am not ready – at least we have the night’s silence, like a pin in the eye. And each day’s confusion creeps under our doors and through our walls and curtained windows … and the sun’s painful glare … and, of course, the bison, the gathering dogs, the flies …
These are our beauties. We haven’t forgotten what loving means, or joy, or goodness…
They are here in this life.
And they will continue with us into the next.