01 March 2009

Language, Pulled on by the Roots of its Hair

Coming back to You is cold water.

There are notes in my hand.

But here I am, sat with my knees to chest, canceling notes out one by one, refusing to listen.

I need to be honest. Need to go ahead with what the gods speak. But my body, my brain, slugs on.

I can feel you when I climb the stairs. Your light through the window, but I cannot hear you in others, in the night, on the train, in Brahms. Where did you go to? Lean into me. Push against me again.

I cried driving home from the store. And a stranger leaned out the window, throwing his words like barbs.

How have I moved away from you?

It happened I passed into St. Patrick’s at Mass. I knew only half-prayers. The ceiling filled in the gaps.

And just as I feel my body being lifted, there, again, the weight.

Did this anchor chase you in dreams?

I keep spinning off the corner of the bed. Each time I’m convinced I’ve lifted. I can hold onto that feeling at dawn.

But it vanishes. Parts of you vanish. Where in the water do you go?

It is useless to ask why the body tires, why my mind changes language.

But you know it is constant, this movement.

The gift, pulled around by hair, is singing. Singing by the window. Looking down into some kind of ocean.

This is where I lift. You know this. You know the grooves on my mind’s edge-work.

But it vanishes. Parts of the sensation into the water.

On the subway, it could be any year. And so I wanted to go back to that line. Not just the line of thought, but that line in time when I wasn’t thinking about speaking, when you were speaking to my loneliness as though in a box.

It is constant, this movement. So why the thought of jumping, right before the 6 arrives?

This is the gift, pulled by the hair—the end-notes running along ahead of the 6. Tied to their backs, letters from you. End-note pests, end-notes from the deepest gutter in the Earth’s bowl. From You.

And the ceiling fills in the gaps. I am sat at the platform, confused.

And now to You who do not think

I am addressing each letter-curve to your house.

Tonight, I want to line each thought in a row and pull their hair. And through the floor-boards, feel it. Up through your feet, feel the root of how pain wraps its legs. Of how you know the groove of my mind’s edge-work


I cried in the car, returning from the store.

The 6 keeps surprising us with joy. Letters on the back. What I wouldn’t give to cancel your end-notes.

You want to be spoken to.

Coming back is cold.

Where in the water did you go?

This is what I’d say to you:

Letter 1:

You will never believe. I thought something was saying my name. Out. Though it was just the train. I know, I know. Tracks clacking their teeth. And still, under my seat. A man to my left “I thought you were going to sleep through your stop.” How did he know my stop? What if I already slept through my stop? But I smiled, and gathered my things at New Rochelle. He laughed when my head hit the window, falling asleep. I heard my name. Called out. I know, I know. It was only the train. But perhaps I love you.

And, after making tea for the eighth time, I’d climb the stairs and compose this in my head:

Letter 2:

I didn’t mean I heard the tracks. I meant that I text a man each night I’ve never met. I meant that I don’t understand love.

Letter 3:

There’s a moment, in Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15 that makes me want the world in my mouth: 2 minutes and 55 seconds in. The strings break cages. Usually, I am on the train when this happens.

But 3 minutes and 30 seconds in, a soft bend. And I want to kiss you.

Letter 4:

You still won’t believe. Even when strings break cages, ceilings talk when you go silent. I tell myself this is your gift. Imagine, you in every turn. But, crescendos swallow themselves. Eventually, the advantage you have over me will weaken.

Letter 5:

I do not mean weaken. Can I ask, have you heard Piano Concerto B Flat No. 2. Op. 83? I know. I know. But the moment gets away from me, standing on platforms. The movement is more than likely your hand. The mice, philosophers ear-wings. I mean, yes, of course I converse with numbers. You are You only when I am not addressing her dress--plastic bag in a tree.

But I do not send the letters.

The gift I find, tugged on by the roots of its hair, when trying to comfort myself, is licking. Is tying its hands to mine. This is the language of grass. Of having a love and knowing it. Of walking each day toward a door that will not open.

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