I am not sure there are not more things left hidden in it. I think they may have lied to us. Mythologically lied. I think we should look inside. Just to be sure. I wonder what is stopping me or us or all the other pronouns.
What’s the worst that could happen? Look at where we are right now, the hubbub of venerable demons, the whirlwind of evils, the exhaustion we experience by being good all the time. I think one of us should just lift the lid. We could draw straws or force someone already terribly guilty to do it.
Both sides wish for the same thing, really. They just use different buzzwords to get there. The box is ancient and we all see it. Think of the opportunities for reward or blame, the everything-there-is in a food universe. At last, we would be rid of the temptation, the horrible wonder of what we will become when we are too tired to argue anymore.
Joseph Cornell couldn’t draw but needed to compose things the moonlight wanted to say when it fell over the jagged city, and he saw, and felt, and worried about the expiration date of these moods. This, in part, is the Riddle of the Sphinx of the city itself. If you don’t see it as someone continually dressing and redressing before a simply impossible mirror, then you have not sat by the fountain long enough, staring at the distress. Only the pigeons and trees are immortal.
We fall in love the same way, with styles spinning and disarticulating, the synthesis of the blur of two bodies, countless minds, the quantum prestidigitations of how to greet the other on first awakening, how it will color the whole day. We are always falling away into the reflection of the other. At work, we dawdle and play with him or her like a doll, in the mind and on the phone. What a surprise come evening to find the body has returned, a totem in the doorway, closing and locking the outside world away, a last glimpse of the sunlight steeping neighbors’ houses.
Later, sitting in the unlight of the television, the treaty of silence between voices in the common room. One translucent suddenly realizes the other is an invisible packboat. A peripheral smoke, such as ghosts exhale. It is incredibly peaceful. One could stir the ashes looking for a bone to argue over. But, really, is this not what you wanted all along, desire put away in a small reliquary box to be cherished and opened on only the rarest occasions? The window at the rear top of the house affords you a flowing river with smoky islands. You like to stand here at evening and turn your jewelry, watching the river’s little movements, picking at its own surface like a painter who has waited too long.
The cats are right and I am wrong. Again. I learn to believe in others senses more attuned. But, entering the shirt, I understand why the smells in garments hung in closets for lifetimes are more important than the travels of Odysseus. We come as close as words to each other, then back off.
This child’s bowl in this window has kept me attuned all summer. Some who grew up on paper meet one Sunday those who grew up on screens, in the street’s fine rain making the city smell differently. Younger, more innocent. The stones of the bank had a rose scent. It was preposterous but real, as scent molecules have shapes and bounce around like balloons until they meet something like a miniature hand in our body which wants to hold them.
It is nearly summer again. I watch a man mowing up to the edge of the forest, through the window. I want him to continue on, into a deep forest with the lawnmower. It is like someone talking, talking in a museum after all the long-ago paintings have made up their minds and decided to hang there on the wall as the only afterlife possible. The sunlight cracks, but each puzzle piece remains true.
Sometimes even putting a hoodie on I get lost There are three roads of darkness It quickly fills with warm breath like the past One feels vulnerable in those moments stumbling about A shirt over the head like a beast being led to slaughter Why do we still do that anyway? But to come out the other side is to be reborn The sweater is a simple variation on death
Because your mother did this for you at first Sometimes you still expect to meet her When you come out the other side of the tunnel Everything feels possible in warm darkness Because that is how we enter the world the first time There are some who can’t get through a sweater It is simply too great a maze like Oedipus Rex They wander around cities with dark cloth over half their body Waving their arms like mastodon trunks Sometimes they meet by accidental touch And fall in love and run blindly away on four feet
On my late night walk I greet a certain tree at least as old as the town. I nicknamed this sycamore Charles Bukowski. It has bad skin, always peeling to white which makes it seem to glow in the dark as my breath on cold nights might. It’s outlasted entire graveyards of people who passed it in smug superiority of species. It’s nearly as tall as the tower of old people it grows behind, whose windows show them this unrelenting reach for more of the particular solitude that is its lot from non-cradle to non-grave. One intuits it is another lost drinker in a world of them standing quiet in the night.