unsettled account/p5

This s not a bell.

It's probably important to mention somewhere in here that I am a witch.

Witch or warlock it doesn't really matter, it's not in that neo-pagan sense of the term, with spells and magic circles and the things of old Europe, this is a particularly Caribbean version of a West African kind of knowledge that writes over some of the Polish and Irish skin to make itself visible, but enough of a palimpsest to make it complicated, and difficult to live in a world where things like appropriation are real enough to kill, but also in a time and place where questioning usual realities is expected, but entering into unusual realities is deeply suspect.

But there's nothing really unusual about it, it's just nature, which is extraordinary and remarkable, sure, but hardly unusual, because it happens all the time, and has been happening for more than six thousand years.  In an oral society the knowledge is passed boca a boca, and in a time and place where these things are shifting, learning is shifting, and it's surprising how much reading is involved.  The real work, however, is when there are two or more Santer@s gathered in one or some of four hundred names, and white clothes are everywhere and heads are covered.  In garages and living rooms there are ways of turning any place into what might be called a church, and it was in one of these rooms where all these things I was told came true.

I'm still new, which is what I always like to say about anything, even if it's not true, and I was talking to my godfather in the car, wondering who we were about to meet, because I'd been haunted by a series of dreams of the dead, telling me to pay attention to what was about to happen, and that something like love would be born soon.

They didn't tell me that this something like love couldn't be called love in a way that would make anyone involved very comfortable, and in fact the more it looked like love the sooner it would die and turn into something else.  Maybe I just have a pattern of meeting people who like to be very precise with words, and perhaps the problem is one that only exists in English, when there are too many words for the same thing, or too many talk shows about how these things we think are love are actually something else.  But it's not less complicated in Portuguese, and it doesn't lose its ability to confuse in any other language I've heard of.  But again, I'm new, and there are a lot of languages I don't know yet.  Someone once explained to me that in some of the African languages we work in, love and sex are the same thing, and the idea of separating them out is a particularly European way of trying to make things more proper for when people are sitting in church pews and trying not to think about fucking each other.  It might be true, but it might also be less confusing if the word were removed altogether, because things tend to fall apart when it comes up, someone either runs which is painful, or someone gets married which is terrifying.

I didn't know that she was learning about the secrets of the dead when I wanted to melt my face and body over hers until she melted, too, but it made sense later, and I could go to Europe and say that this was the source of the attraction, but there was something in this movement of this particular body that told me that I needed to get as close as I could to her, and like a flamingo falling on top of her we spoke about ranch dressing, enough to let me know there really wasn't much to say, if I thought about it.  But there's something in this mystery where Obatala loves Oya the most, a kind of magnetism between deep creation and deep destruction where both parties know that they are, at root, exactly the same, and this is when root wants to touch root, and chakras can unlock in yoga or they can unlock by unlocking each other in a way entirely unmetaphorical, but that would not happen for at least another week.  (It took so long).

There was nothing more to say about ranch, and there never will be, unless you are entirely stupid and spend Saturdays at wal-mart to make life better for the whole family, but there is something in the spice that can make things happen beneath the tongue, and I wanted to lure her with my tongue, so something about the wind in the air made it easy to begin letting words fall like teeth.  I don't think she ever half suspected my mouth was filled with so many teeth, and in truth I never suspected she had the same thing, or perhaps, the poet in her was untapped, or perhaps, I hope this isn't true, I sucked the poet out of her, but I don't think that's true.

All I do know is that in all my time of learning spells, I have not been able to recognize when I am under one, or at least not in a way that lets me know that I will be acting against my better interests, and perhaps I am grateful not to know how to recognize this, because it makes it much easier to turn into another being entirely in the dark.

There was a time, I think I remember, when I was barely old enough to drink, where nights with someone I was fond of could last well into the morning, and I had heard that this capacity gets dimmer with age, so that by the time a gentleman like myself would experience a gradual decline where by the time we are forty, desire comes and goes like the desire to fix squeaky furniture, and I wonder if she half-suspected this would be how it would come to be with me.  It would have been much easier, I think, for her to have the affair she was looking for if it had been like this, and it would have been easier to say goodbye to her by the sea when it was over if our nights had been made up of some small caresses and occasionally a moment or two of some distant, deeper pleasure.  But in truth, it was that same version of reality only turned inside out, where there were times when the furniture itself seemed to cry with pleasure and beg for mercy and wonder how this could go on for so very long.

The short version of the introduction to this, then, is that she liked the poem, and it wouldn't be the last one I wrote to her.  I would very much like to say that her soul kiss was like an introduction itself, and that it was only a hint of the hunger in the world, because if it were the deepest felt, then it would be difficult to continue living in a body.  But there are other things besides kisses that make life worth living, and more kinds of sugar than what's eaten fresh off the cane.  However, the things I would like to say are not always the things that I will say, and some of the best things I have to keep buried in my chest, because they would hurt to much to say on the road of the world.


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