The veil may be thin, but it’s still impossible to see through in certain light, from certain angles, with certain eyes. May my eyes grow confused and unsure.
Somehow, on the wrong side of the raindrops. Thirsty.
I look at pictures of last week’s shadows. Last week’s chipped red paint. I stay dry. Rest my hand on a sleeping cat. Rest my head on the one long note in my ears and all the empty stuffing the room.
My face is a star, a friend, a macrophage. Depends on where you’re looking from. My body is entirely green. My heart is entirely ocean.
What if we call the mess beautiful? What if we sit in its chaos and listen to its rambling stories and learn where each bruise and cut came from? Will it then let us comb its hair and run a warm washcloth over its tender skin?
Finding a curve where a straight line was expected. Finding green where there’s normally gray. Finding soft.
Yesterday there were confused flowers offering their heart/tongues and ants lost in their tentacled centers. Today there’s a dump run in the rain and a search for where all those flashing cop cars were heading. Tomorrow there are two more minutes of winter light.
Everywhere now, garbage spills down the highway embankments from clusters of tents and tarps. I haven’t driven down that portion of highway for nearly a year. My garbage and I have been sheltering at home. But now we bundle our junk into a rented van and chauffeur it to the other side of town, flinging it gleefully onto the warehoused piles.
Riding home, I feel nauseous from too many cookies at breakfast and the sweet-scented cleaner used to disinfect the van.
None of this is right.
One wet layer over another. Shoulders lifted, trying to be an umbrella. Shoes dressed in mud.
Not all feathers ride the wing and tail. Consider the delicate ones on a throat, around an eye, or close to the breast. The semiplume, down, filoplume and bristle. Consider that not all feathers are found on birds.
No kids. No religion. No love of presents shared. No work for most of the last ten months to take a break from. Just another day to love my people, my flora and fauna. Another day to be grateful for warm, honeyed bread and coffee, for gas heat and freshly installed sheetrock, for being breathed another day.
Did they gather in anticipation of the man who always shuffled out, hungover and weary, with his usual bag of crumbs? Or did the man find the stale bread shoved behind the empty bottle of whiskey and decide to toss it into the street? It was Christmas after all and the crows were who showed up.
Dig your finger past the brown and gray and dip it in the tiny pot of blue.
And when you’re done with the tiny pot of blue, walk down the street to that patch of normally normal flowers, those hardy, indelicate blooms, and wait for the sun to burst from their centers. Cover your eyes. Their new brilliance will burn.
I have many more months of slowness in me. This hibernation is only half through. How lucky to be so fond of shadows and sleep. How lucky to feel so safe.
I see the steady swimmers, the doggy paddlers, the frantic gaspers. I see the assholes speeding by making dangerous wakes. The yachts gather. The rescue boats search. Too many of the drowning drown. All I seem able to do is stretch my arms wide, face to the sky, and float.
The winter brights try to hide behind the ubiquitous brown or grow so small, you’re likely to overlook them. Is it enough to find and not capture? Where will these morning words go if not around their wet skin?