lessons

My little girl tells me that she is going outside to poke the skin.
My roommate is painting the room where his band practices, and there are remnants of an apocalypse all over the house, this liminal space between a there that I knew, and another there that I don't know. There are pans of red paint, shades of brick, that remind me of the best parts of Berlin and Mexico City, and the paint is drying over with rubberized skin.
She wants to poke it, because it feels good on her fingers, and there's always the distinct possibility of poking through and getting paint all over her everything. She sees raw material there, and wants to feel it with her hands.
It runs in the blood. This day, one of opposites, is where the sun is there but I can see it's just covering the surface material of a moonlight night, one where chairs serve as host to complicated acrobatics in a polyrhythmic time. These worlds can't exist at the same time, not here, not without therapy that goes deep and lasts for three years, not unless I can squint the growing wrinkles around my eyes and take the raw material of a chameleon god in my head and let it melt into this waking body. But I'm learning how to do it, how to make these worlds collide without any contradiction, this African Taoism that looks like two sides of the same tattoo.
This lizard king is at the heart of the heat of the top of the mountain, and creates with the diligence of an Iron God, never stops working, and never stops seeing potential shapes in the children of stones, the ones that can be molded with sharp focus, and deep feelings of love. Love is the center of every revolution, or every true revolutionary, and my world is revolving in ways I did not expect. Or maybe it's unfolding exactly as planned.
But this infolding is something that happens when the moon is new, and the archeologies of the body of a cipher come calling, come calling for unravelling, and haunted nighttime excavations.
"It feels like it's morning, or it looks like it's morning," is what she says when she hears the birds that surround us in the dark. It's not light, and light is far away, but it feels immanent, because we, passengers in time, are starting to see the curve of time and space. The bigger questions and bigger moments don't matter now, but the smaller urgencies are just beneath the surface, and speak like birds in the blood.
I'm looking at the lines in my hand, the ones that match hers, and I'm trying to see if there are crosses here, ones that will predict that a separation will be long, or short, but no marks show up in the dark or the light, only questions that are opened up by walking. I want my urgencies to be so overwhelming that they eclipse the father's fear of motorcycles, make the anxieties of liminality move to the background, and heal the ruptures that live deep beneath the surface of her earth, but they're only urgencies for a moment, and can only be healed by a moment, which comes and does not pass without a proper marking.
This skin, this raw material, is not the tabula rossa of a Polish art form, it's geographies marked and in process of further marking. Ink and fire and steel cross the sites of rupture, the moments that pass so furiously that they deserve a marking on the skin, this territory is one that speaks for itself, in curious and fantastical signs that speak of an unfolding myth within the folds. This myth is one that unfolds me, and marks me with a gentle rupture, storms that come slow and don't show their power until I'm caught in another complicated tango that dances in unknowable directions. This movie is Fellini and Campion, a perfect blend of worlds that would not have ever collided without a wise provocation.
As I'm sculpting new territories, the flesh returns to itself, to its own markings and geographies, and I can see the material is there to tell me about itself, seduced by the signs until the signs don't matter, and the breath and the blood make the marks that hold metaphorical shapes in these lives that play like myths and movies. Her claws make signs on my back, and her teeth make holes in my shoulders, and the flesh that I carry with me is becoming tangible as something that can be altered utterly in the hands that sing of an utter beauty, and these moments or signs that the heart that was buried in the graveyard was never buried very deep.
It's just below the skin, right under a surface that is slowly but surely preparing to show its colors. The moon is a dangerous hole, but the candle light can expose and absorb everything.
The blood that runs in a family is the same blood that runs from the top of the mountain, chameleon gods that know the secrets of the beginning and the end of the world, but know that the moment is the only one that matters.
We make matter from the raw material of skin and pulses, and we are the art, and we are the matter, and when we start to matter, we enter into the river of time. A week is a long way off in the short scheme of things, and a blink in the eyes of the world. A blink is also a fissure, signifying sweet nothings, excavations in the mountains in the spring, secret healings that make sense only much further along down the road, when the lines on the palm might start to make sense, or the pulse of an artist beats surely beneath the skin of a daughter's hands.

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