no home to fly away to

now. when i leave the house.  the first thing i see in front of me is a black bird, another one, these days they come flying across my path like they were cleaning me.  i know what this means, or have a strong sinking feeling, & it's a secret, i shouldn't say it because it's a secret, so for once i will keep it a secret.  and write it halfway so that it might be like a feather in my throat, one who's strands are visible, but the full story is inside my stomach.  there have been 4 birds so far in the past 2 days, and i see this will mean a lot of math.

i'm in an old cafe, not really old, but one i have not been in for awhile, but not old.  nothing is really very old here, not in this part of the city.  but there are old things working on my ribs, i can sometimes see them out of the corner of my eye, kind of like a lover licking the side of the neck and smiling before going further down the channels of the body, and these things smile before they go back to work on my ribs, stamping the flesh and bone with symbols and numbers, & they say it has something to do with marking the quality of the flesh, and something to do with marking the patterns of grieving for this particular moment in time.  in this cafe, which is not old, the woman behind the counter says she has not seen me for awhile, and it's nice to be remembered, and i didn't realize, that it's been a few significant turns of the moon since i've been inside here.  i don't think anything is visible, it's experience carried in the belly, but when i open my laptop there are 4 short black hairs on the keys, like the ghosts of black birds carried them from one liminal spot to this one.  and i put one in my mouth and swallow.

now, i'm remembering something else, something i can't talk about, not entirely.  i forget, i forget, when i am turning these stones over in my mouth, moving them like were old teeth, or washing them with my spit like they were all the memories i want to keep, and all the wounds that i want to heal, the wounds buried in the back of a favorite lover, i forget that i went to the canal and did something that i haven't had to do in awhile, something to do with grieving, and there was cleaning to do, and there was a daughter watching chipmunks play, while short black hairs were flying and getting bathed and getting born and getting eaten, as if they were dirt, dirt from a home barely touched, dirt from the ground where the roots barely entered the channel where they can grow deep, warm, and glowing in the belly of the earth, so the earth could know these roots like it were the hair of a favorite lover, something missed, something lost, something ripped out, something planted, something to water with my own insides, something that lay in the path at the beginning, something not done, something the birds want to clean before the bones have been sealed with symbols i can't understand.

then, sitting and wondering about fire, about the things that burn from the inside, about what hair can do when it's planted, and wondering if this grief isn't premature, or entirely too instinctual.  because the inner landscape is looking flattened and burnt these days, smoking with the residue of things that were walkingrocking on this ground, and it feels like the ocean floor.  but i also sense that there's something else underneath, that it's not close to the floor at all, but just a stop, a place to rest, one of those geological phenomena where the shelf to rest is particularly magnetic and fires the mind so it doesn't move very far into a future or a past, but can't find the right rhythm to sleep for longer than an hour or two.  but the outer landscape is filling with wind that's warming up for another season, and the smells in the air are new, and everywhere is green and purple, green and orange, green and white, chameleons and stoned archers marking the ribs of the earth with the symbols of life and fertility.  i think this is a locked room to me, but i suck my tongue to make the hair warm and wet in my belly, and the woman in the cafe tells me i have to leave, that everyone in the cafe of the world has to leave, to run and go outside, because the insides of the kitchen have caught fire, smoldered and burst into flame, and we have to go outside, because this fire burns, this fire keeps burning, this fire is capable of giving internal burns, the hot yoga of the earth's belly, all the things that i could ever want from a god who knows what lightning means, or a river goddess whose birds are not done cleaning, and reinscribing my ribs with endless strings of indecipherable code that remind me so much of the helixes in her hair.  

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