Monday, February 3, 2020

Stubbornly Alchemical

The woman in Michigan, the woman in New Hampshire, the woman in eastern New York, and the woman long ago on the Beara peninsula.

We are quiet and efficient at 11:30 p.m., covers loosening, expertly bringing one another to "the clouds and the rain."

Peering through frost blossoms on north-facing windows at low-lying hills on the far side of which - a little less than an hour's drive - Vermont vermonting.

A crow atop the compost.

A hurried meeting of neighbors to figure out how we will clear the sidewalk of snow now that D.'s wife is in the hospital and he cannot.

Travel plans that include Cape Cod, Derry New Hampshire and Brattleboro Vermont.

She calls on Friday to ask if I will take over a certain class and I say yes because we're so poor and later wrestle with the demons whose favorite game is "what if you weren't poor."

Night lights.

I think often of the shepherds who in Palestine dreamed the idea of One God, a single parentless father, the subsequent - and ruinous - ongoing effacement of mothers.

I think often of whaling captains.

The neighbor's pickup at an odd angle and pressed hard into the snow bank, indicative of a drinking problem that nobody - still! - knows how to talk about.

Communal barns we rent as a group - repair as a group - and which thus function as communal root cellars for pumpkins, potatoes, apples, et cetera.

Chafing that in context is not only okay but desirable.

Somehow we are able to take "no longer arguing" and convert it to something resembling a "peace" marred only by our subtle conviction that we - and not the other - are its author.

The turtle surfaces in its glass bowl and gazes at all of us, calm and reflective, indicative of our need to go slower in naming our shared pathology.

Family as a poorly-edited anthology.

My thumb grazes your nipple, low moans, car headlights sweep the far wall, your hand on the back of my head says now do this.

Wanting anything another way is a form of violence.

Puzzled this winter about the location of the sun and moon, and wanting to ask you in writing if you can explain it, or otherwise contextualize these unfamiliar latitudes.

My heart, that flinty curator, stubbornly alchemical, up all night with its obsession.

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