The vast flood Rolls onward But yield yourself, And it floats you upon it – Ikkyū Sōjun, tr. R. H. Blyth The first drops were sweet against his hands. They tapped at him gently, first at his wrist, then his shoulder, then his face, as though to get his attention. He had expected them; the
Somewhere on the border, where the cold and the dry kills everything that needs to be killed, somewhere around here is where I’m from. Where the weeds are lush and the grass is gone. Where the cow’s milk tastes dirty and the breast milk tastes sad. Where bodies are cremated, not buried, and you can
Far behind the house’s rear, among moss and dead leaves was a spring. Connected to the spring by a small staircase of large rocks lie a stream that flowed as a river when it rained and ran dry through summer and winter. Insects–gnats, mosquitos, flies–danced above puddled water in the day, the light giving shape
As they sipped the tea they decided to trust their guts, and let each other know when they were not comfortable. The liquid poured into their stomachs, sedating the unnecessary anger, and relieving a bit of the weight off the world. Maybe that would help. If only a little. Until then, together they would live, create, twirl, and scream. And realize that the world is finite, and tea gets cold. So it is better to sip slowly and gently. They turned to each other, flecks of light in each other’s eyes, and smiled.
“I’m going to the Thai Market.”
I didn’t react with a start. I merely cast a brief glance at the eager visitor in the doorway of my room and nodded silently, hopefully a nod that conveyed, “Have fun.” I was sure that I had heard incorrectly; the idea of home in a city so far away from the likes of my past seemed impossible. I returned my eyes to my computer screen, continuing my fervent search for activities in which I could partake on my first weekend in Berlin. I had an especially vigilant eye for anything that indicated hints of home.
“Do you want to come along? I could really go for Thai food right now.”
Once, she positioned herself in her usual armchair next to the window, where her duvet retained its usual cocoon shape. She sat watching the empty street, the fence, the garden plot, the stump, the fossil. She went down the pink porch in her thin cotton socks to see the fossil.
We are the walls who have stood for one hundred years and we will stand for one hundred more at the discretion of God, the weather, and those who reside inside of us. We have stood regardless of the scurryings of rodents on our backs and the people who painted our faces anew.
A poem in two parts. Pt. I I was born to this old and broken house and now it sits, aflame, and I weep. we live in a mostly burning neighborhood; we watch as we set our own fires; we know we have been swimming in gasoline since we moved in. “why are you shocked?”