on that night

when no one remembered any of the rules,
and time was running out,
and there wasn't enough space in the world to contain
what wanted to be contained,
and there wasn't enough time
to kiss like people do,
or a working methodology that worked
for the time that was running out,
and the only one who knew anything for sure,
was the wind.
and i fell asleep wondering how i
might learn how to trust the wind.
and the long nights that came after
that one night, the ones where
the sheets were wondering who was dreaming who,
and when these anxious turns might resolve
into something that resembled a story
that had a metaphor and a rhythm,
and the days were interrupted by
those urgent things that wanted to be born,
and the wind was turning it back,
poor imitations of seasons, floods that receded
before anything got really cleaned,
and snow that was only a pale imitation,
until the same wind went to sleep,
too embarrassed to admit that it didn't
know, had no idea, what the rules
might be, or how any of this would play out
after the season settled in on itself,
and let people start to make their homes there.
and on this night, in between seasons,
in between one wind and another,
i hear myself speaking in voices
that do not belong to me.  trying this
one out, to see if it fits, and throwing it
off to try another, they all have loose threads
that do not have anything to do with this.
and i hide in western philosophy,
diagrams of desire, and the threads of those
things that czech writer said, before his
country turned into someone else's.
before the winds changed the lines again,
and made this into something that it never
used to be.
and i'm discovered by spirits of western
africa, and the mothers of the waters,
who tell me that this moon in my fingernail
is more than just a reflection, and the one
who owns the wind, she tells me my blood
is being stilled before a peculiar sea change,
and everything is about to rise to the
surface, but first i'll have to lose my faith
in these things i cannot see.
and i pull the sheets tighter, and tell her
that i want to believe her, but no longer
think i do, even though i am always
wrong, and she never stops beating at
my chest, she wants me to remember
that she knows things that can only
last, the ones that start, that have their
birth, at the bottom of the river where
she used to live before she was born
in this place where we are all exiles.  


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