first. your face in my hands.

first.  there are too many hungry ghosts running through the walls of my houses, and i see houses everywhere, like ghosts, and i have no home yet.  the hungry ghosts, if they could focus for a moment, could come to call and tell me that this idea of a home is something to make where i am, but that's only something my friend could tell me, sending messages from under the surface of the sea, through a half dozen links that connect my life to his, telling me this is what he found...the ghosts just want to know why they had to leave so soon...and i want to hold a pure burning heart from my own chest and tell them to follow the light, because this is what their spirits are longing for, but my heart is tied to a bedpost with invisible threads, and burning with the strength of a hundred horses, and my gods are different than theirs.


next. there are dogs in this.  there are always dogs in every story worth repeating, and this movie has a hundred dogs that all run in one direction, even though they have four legs, and every dog has a different message from the world of the dead.  there are also lizards.  there are too many animals already for anyone to pay attention to the people, but the people are really the source of the fire, and you, like prometheus, steal fire from the dead to bring it into my bed, and in the mornings, when you've slipped away like the woman gone back to the sea, leave notes that tell me you don't know the ceremony, but you know so many things.  you leave in the morning and it makes sense only later, later that day that's repeated itself for eleven days, when lizards are raining on me in my rabbit head (another animal), who speak to me about something important.  i don't understand the message, and i don't understand what is in my own head, but it's music that i'm growing fond of, the kind of music that comes to me when i'm alone and crossing three hundred miles from the ocean back to the desert, and wondering why these things that tie me to the earth are the ones i have to lose.  this message, that this is birth, that these reptiles are signs of birth, will only make sense when i remember the way they are born in fire, and return to fire, and this is when base matter turns to gold.


next.  this base matter is the stuff of bodies, the objects that move from one place to another to work without passion and love without attention.  this base matter can turn colors in the right light, with the right focus and attention, and suddenly they hold the secret to making gold.  the treasures i have found in this world are held in the light, a moon or a sun or a star that doesn't have a name yet, so i can look at them and decide which ones are worth keeping.  this body is tired, and already too caught up in daydreams to sleep without forgetting, and everything i ever loved is inscribed on my skin in the morning.


next.  i can't sleep right.  there are too many voices in these houses, small withering boys who call my name and ask me for things, an extra pillow here, an extra pill there, to hold their head and move it to the left, to stay, to please stay, to stay until the panic of being in a withering body goes away until it wakes up again, like a lizard caught in the fire.


next.  they sometimes leave, and it doesn't seem to matter that they've asked me to stay, they sometimes leave anyway, and leave outlines of themselves in these houses so that the mothers and the fathers can see their traces and remember what was once here.  it's enough for them to already know what they know, that this is not a permanent situation, and this being in a body will not stay for very long, but long enough to make an attachment through the cords that can only be drawn by shadows playing on each other in the dark.  


next.  and maybe only this.  the shadows play on my face when i try to keep my head up, to go somewhere safe from mothers who are grieving for their lost sons, safe from fathers who are writing names on walls and thinking about the last time the children weren't raining, and safe from the things that make us hide from each other in the dark.  the shadows draw threads from my heart and memory, and start to spin in a thousand directions, like spiders that move everywhere at once, and connect me to everything that is here, and here, i want to throw off everything that is pulling me back to the place where mother's grieve.


there's always another next.  i couldn't break those threads no matter how many times i swept myself away from the ocean at 80 miles an hour, and no windstorm could take away the songs oya put in my head, and i had to decide to live with attachments, or to be weightless and unbearably light.  i am not light.  these small blinks of light that make up short lives - in the dark of a stranger's house, i said yes to the possibility of being torn apart by their hunger for another human attachment, because they know that at the end of the tunnel, this is all there is, this is all there is, small withering bodies whispering that this is all there is.


last.  your face in my hands.


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