alchemies of water and air

I lay still at the edges of my covers.  There were rough mountains beneath my head while I was dreaming about the last time the world ended.  There were floods receding from under my sink.  My houses always flood when there is too much to feel and too many details that get lost.  Finding the place where the broken fingernail is letting in too much light and covering it just enough so that it might heal by the morning.  Taking the last screen shot before the world turned to iron and iron technologies and keeping it frozen so that I could refer back to it when I needed it the most.  Lifting the lipstick stains off the edges of the same sheet I slept in when I was getting crowned with African spirits, and holding them suspended in the air, and telling myself that the world seemed to be sleeping, but this is how wizards calm themselves when the lovers are gone far away.  And the flood washes through anything anyway, and I'm left with my broken fingernail, the one that looks like hers, and the stains are on my neck, and the frozen face from a sad night is burned into the sides of my belly.

These are the icons and fetishes I sleep with, no leather with zippers and no silk straps with secret words, just the thousand and one descriptions for sleep that I have when everything is so far away from this hungry belly, the one that only knows how to eat after midnight, when all the neighbors are up and coughing in their beds. 

And in another blink, there's a sound in the dark, and I'm chasing after potions to keep the blue light of the moon centered just above my chest, and I'm distracted long enough that it sinks down, the moon fading into the water of my flesh, and the room is lit up with lines that go in every direction, and it's strange I never knew, I think it's strange, and this next world is already writing itself on the walls of my longing, that will not fall asleep.  I put these things under my pillow, and forgot about them, and didn't know that the ocean would rock me harder until they came dislodged, always already always there. 

When I was in another place, I spent hours memorizing the parts, so that I could reconstruct them for myself on a cold night, but the parts never stayed still long enough to separate, they always held the mettle and the ore of the whole, and all I knew was the whole, the forest was the trees and this was something that I never thought belonged rightfully to me.

So I followed the drum for another 270 nights, listening to the pattens and getting distracted by the way these stories unfolded the other forgotten identities of a life of already alternate identities, and on the worst nights I could only fall asleep by telling myself that no one knows and no one cares. 

First silence is a welcome lover.  Then it becomes unbearable.  Then it becomes a constant pounding at the back of the neck, and then it burns more quietly, a soft blue that turns white and is impossible to hold, and that's the point when fire and water start to speak, as if for the very first time.

This was a burden that I wouldn't give up, because it was the only way to keep dark in a time where there was too much light.  This was a pain that had to burn its way out from the inside, so its inscription would write on me from the inside out.  You can follow your heart, they say, but first you have to let it speak to you, and you're too sure of yourself for that to happen. 

To love this ocean you have to be more than man, more than woman, and trained in how to follow the beat of the drum until you become the mountain that speaks, the mountain that shakes, the mountain that erupts on the lap of the sea.  Panic turns to love, and love turns back into panic, and you don't need any particular friend to read your marks in the dark, anyone with eyes can read them for you, and it says what you should have expected, it's that thing that you didn't want to say but had to say anyway, it's that lesson you thought you learned but had to walk through in your flesh anyway, it's that lover that goes away but you decided you would love anyway, because any wizard can tell you that the feeling that time has stopped is that same moment that the horses under the sea are working their way to the surface, and they start riding you until you can't remember the promises you made to yourself before you saw her marks on your ribs, a story that isn't complete, it's never complete, because it's true, those marks you made on each other with your tongues reached all the way to the bones, and there won't be another day that passes when you are not hungry, and there isn't a mask in the world that can disguise you from your real twin.

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