at night, sea, monsters and telegraphs

I've been soaking in the dirt from under the surface of the earth for more than a season, and the only sounds that make sense are the music of the worms, and the rhythms of distant footsteps.  They sound like tires on a grid from under a bridge, the place where I lost my sense of direction for the last time.  And I've been rocked to sleep by the waves under my back for so many nights now that their sounds, the ones we always dream about, the sirens, are the only sounds that can wake me up.  Human voices don't make sense when they've been playing in traffic for too long, and the only ones I can trust are the ones who have been buried like me.  We're not alone then, and not apart, not from the rest of this other music, and not from each other, but we can't see each other in the dark, and it might take a radical act of faith to assume that you are really there.

I want radical actions tonight, in vestigial situations that remind me of my dozen uncertain homes, the ones that move away from me when I'm making saints close to the ocean, the ones that fall to pieces after disintegrating from the inside, and the childhood places that get transformed by cancers that are anything but metaphorical (and tonight, metaphor is the only thing that can rock me to sleep, no body will soothe me and no words can touch the spaces outside of the careful demarcations of where I have to be).  These illnesses threw me far off course, and none of them were mine, and every time I woke up, I had to make up a new course, always different, always guided by some memory of fire, and they always guided me back to you.  And I don't know who you are.  And I don't know who I am.  And this landscape is so much like a dream, and my heart beats like a dream, and my blood burns like a dream, and waking up is no longer possible, or even necessary.

These words that fly past my ears when I'm trying to hear the mermaid songs, I can't tell if they're happening now or if they happened before, beats of the drum to mark the space between then and now, and the thousand miles of sentences that sentenced us to life or death or maybe just love.  And the stars play like telegraphs, until their colors are words, like the beats of a drum, and their revelations play out in double vision, where five cups become ten, and coins are divided, and even the sea monsters seem to have nothing good to say except to complain about not having enough money.  No one has any more money these days, or else we would all be indoors.  And all I want is to let my breath become fires that fly far above my head, so that you can see the signals that say that I remember you.  And there were nights, not very long ago, where you recognized me, and it came as a shock every time.

And tonight, when I pass by the places that caught us, the whirlpools where faeries and morbid sorcerers were singing our names, I have to remember that the people that I have been between then and now add up to something I don't wish to define, and find myself incapable of divining.  But I see things in between the shadows of the heat of the days, and I see things that tell me I'm waking up in the right place, and I see things that remember every breath, every kiss, and every cry.  It's a constant craving, built from caves of desire still inhabited by bodies that want, and bodies that are terrified of any ultimate definitions.  I always fall in love when I meet someone who doesn't know their own destiny, who has performed all the rites that allow us to see the future, and understand that theirs is one that cannot be found except by travel.  When the night is still refusing to turn into day and my eyes can't be more tired, and the vision more doubled, I think of you.  When I approach the part of the day where all the angry ghosts come out to play and I discover they don't possess me any more, I remember you.  When I am too tired to go any further, but find myself moving faster to catch up with the version of myself who knows and understands things like longing, I become like you.  And I don't know how to ask if you're ever coming home, because I have no home.

I keep falling in love with people who can live in tents on a sidewalk, and I keep creating imaginary kitchens in my mind.  They're always decorated with temporary designs, and there's always the smell of garlic and hot pepper on your hands.  I'm making you something from roots, from yam and potato and ginger, something to keep something in place, because it isn't true that we are rootless.  Our roots are cut, and the memory of the cuts are still too contemporary for any of yesterday's theories to heal, and today's songs are too indiscreet (the things of the sea don't respect any rhythms that can speak only to the living).  It could be another time of revolution, or it could be another time of dying, but there's an ecstasy hidden just beneath your bones, and a thousand revolutions to be won with tongues.  They think we can be tamed like foxes, because they don't know how to recognize a horse when they see one.

from under the sea,
i am c


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