an entry for the archive

Today, I am grateful for

the sun that reproaches—Only when I was gone, she says, that you begged for me.

The cup of water in my palm guides me softly from spillage. It rests on my crown like a kite, afloat. In the living room, the phone rings and I answer, voices spilling in. The guard tells me the sun has wandered yet arrived, the sun that goads me from recline when I have worked through the night.

My finger traces the markings on the wall, the ones that I made when I was only five. I trace the rim of the cup on the crown of my head. The smell of dust overwhelms.

The feet I walk in take me to the lobby. I greet the sun. She carries with her dead leaves in her palm.

 

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a letter to a ghost

you,

I order you to leave the temple. The smoke rises to the ceiling every time the flame dies, and the webs continue to catch dust.

I had been stitching your name on pillows, then casting them out into the crevice of a canyon.

I have called my mother thrice tonight, her voice grating on my ears as she tells me to eat.

When do you leave? If you were flesh, I would have sliced the film of skin on your arm and said, “Go.”

But you are a shadow. You haunt the walls of the kitchen then the rug then the shelf. I am livid when I see fingerprints on glass, and yet the devil tells me to visit you in your sleep. I waver. I look up the sky to send a prayer, then.

I break things in my behalf. I crush crickets to leave a mark. I ask questions to break the peace. Unlike yours, I leave a permanent scar. The taste of salt biting at my swollen lip. The smoke finally rises to the sky, clouds feathered against the heavens.

To your dismay, I cast out your name.

(untitled)

The heart stirs at the sound of a motorcycle—speeding—broken noise coming through glass. I tell myself that, maybe, after enough practice, the stirring will understand the breath, or that the breath will instruct the stirring to understand that the motor of the engine eventually rises like a flag, eventually reaches the summit like a hiker. The breath rocks the chair. I remember my mother when I was a newborn.

The body becomes a buzz of a bee, and the heart a dying motor.

Coming to terms

A girl lost her ticket to a concert. She desperately looks for it in a pile of clothes she has hoarded over the years. Her mother, a hoarder, enters her room, asks her daughter if she happens to have seen her mother’s 89th pair of shoes. Her father, downstairs, finds the pair of shoes in the family car. He proceeds to clean the garage.

a woman and a tree meet on the street

Here’s a story about silence. See, there is a woman, and she’s leaning against a tree, and this tree is in the middle of the street, where cars are passing and where roadkill is born. She isn’t moving, and neither is the tree, for trees do not have feet.

But cars continue to pass by them, honking horns and aggressively speeding. They hit neither. The girl and the tree are communicating. The tree through the rustle of its leaves, and the girl through the stillness of her lips.

Contemplating Sunrise

The rocking chair swings back and forth and to and fro as the old woman hums a tune popular in her youth. The table in front of the rocking chair was placed there to keep her from falling face first, so it would be table first and tables are not usually the first things we consider when we’re falling unless it is at least from the second floor our bodies are falling from. The old woman rubs her knees and she remembers the tune was from her high school dance, or a dance she wasn’t able to recall what the occasion was but she was sure it was special. The sun rises.

Sleep

When people sleep, they undergo stages without their knowledge. People slip into a state where the abyss exists and anything can fill it: a painting, a landscape, skylines. The void consumes without permission, without warning, and people fall into its trap because they need it. Their system shuts down, like a device, except devices don’t have the will to plug themselves back on when they’re ready. But who is to say people can? A body at rest can sense light with an awareness of the world that surrounds them.

People can also be shut down, and shut down for eternity, even when they’re ready to plug themselves back on.