Black oil dripping like sticky medicine from the tapered glass cylinder of a bottle dropper. It is soap? Is it blood? No, it is memory bubbling forth from the deep recess pushing up from underneath and cracking the brittle earth at the surface. I thought I had buried you where none would find you, but alas, I find you because you are buried within me. In the fresh green fragrance pressed from the leaves of a tender plant by searching fingers, I draw the smoky outline that is a recollection, and one leads to another under the gentle caress of late winter sun until an entire scene unfolds and rises like the pages of a pop up story book. My heart hurts as if it has been stapled together by a child, my paper heart splitting at the center because it has been over stuffed with cloudy cotton from a stained pillow, and on it is written,
"Here is a heart since you obviously don’t have one."
It spills out onto the dark umber of moist earth amid a scattering of small brittle leaves and the tiny delicate remains of baby snails who by some twist of fate could no longer use that creamy colored spiral shell which never gained it’s mature color. The quiet is like the sound of nothingness one hears when they press their ear to the mouth of a blue glass bottle; a hollow "shhhh". It drops from the tree tops adorned with adobe bells that hang still and silent. The long slender branches of the tree are thrown up like white arms reaching for the birds that didn’t come this morning, its leaves splotched and puckered with disease.
I can hear the beat of my heart in this quiet; the small insignificant sound of paper tearing, s l o w l y. The characters rise from the depths. Blue eyes, red hair, that I want to touch, to either caress or strangle. Brown eyes, tangled black hair that I want to watch or get as far away from as possible, like a woman teetering on a table top to escape a greasy glowering eyed sewer rat. A beard and a shouting voice which makes every semblance of control shut down as if someone turned the web shaped spicket so tight that not a drop of reason, civility or water can come through, and some one let the bear out of her cage and she’s looking to eat the trainer, no matter how hard he whips, the harder the better to make her bite. Ooooh the things that we drag out the back door on a moonless light to heave into a shallow grave dug with a simple black spade. How they creep back out later, sneaking through the cracks under doors and crawling along in dark hallways that don’t appear in the floor plan.
Poor bear, poor brother, poor sister, poor father. All in unmarked mounds, moaning to be released. And I finger my paper heart, and wonder who gave it to me, what mean child made it so poorly that I will have to make another from these things. I wait like a bounty hunter for each of those apparitions that come to feed on my raw attention. I pounce when they arrive and with silver dagger stay their appetite and take from them my trophy so that I may fashion for myself a new heart of the rendered parts of each and fill it with black medicine and pump it by hand. I cross over the ashy pit where I let my old heart burn, plucked from my breast and set aflame with an empty lighter that looked like hard green candy.
The silent unmoving oxygen fed the frenzy and the fire licked my old paper heart like a hungry little demon sucking at the bloody chambers of a pomegranate until only feathery white and gray ash remained. Then I crossed it, and hoped to die, and sprinkled a handful of seeds here, there and everywhere and call the birds to come. Come bring your song to fill up my new monster’s heart fashioned from the cadavers of ghosts. See how stretchy it is, made of ghost flesh. See how empty of fluff.
Bring your noise and let the flapping of your wings bring the wind. Let the wind ring the little adobe bells as you come down upon pale uplifted arms. Bring the crow, the sparrow, and the lark and let us make a joyful noise to release the spirits of my slain brethren. Black oil dripping like sticky medicine from the tapered glass cylinder of a bottle dropper. It is soap? Is it blood? No, it is the music I make, boiling away the remnants of a life left behind into glossy midnight hued bubbles in the black cauldron of a lonesome self.