Sunday, November 24, 2013
We are walking hand in hand through a meadow. I feel your cool, firm grip on my delicate pale fingers. Your skin is like the touch of an electric moon, passing the voltage of pure white light into the center of my palm. I open up like an exposed portal, your energy flowing into me, brightening me from the inside. The grassy hills are wet from the dark night. We walk.
There was no beginning to this journey, we walk as we always have, your hand firmly holding mine, my fingers gripping back just as tightly. In the far distance is a wall of trees, looking now in the night like a black wall with peaked tips just barely glowing by starlight. Closer to us is a small cluster of tiny things, I can’t tell exactly what they are, my eyes and mind search for meaning and then in two steps we are almost upon them. There is a taut pull of your hand and I jump towards you, just barely avoiding squashing the gathering with the heel of my boot.
What I see now is a funeral for a tiny creature, a small bird with feathers that look as dark as the grass in the dark night.
We keep walking through the meadow, the trees on our left. We are exposed to the moon and the night sky of a thousand stars. My cheeks are cold and flush, though I feel a deep warmth in my chest, a brightness and aliveness which runs like a channel down my arm and into my palm and fingers which hold on tightly to you.
We come upon a collection of rectangular structures, narrow trailers made of a cheap metal and planted shallowly upon the earth. There are a few dozen, all densely packed together. We pass one, the only one with a bright porch light. Its yellow glow reveals the neglected state of the home, the walls left without sheen. One woman stands by her front door, looking out into the empty dirt streets.
We walk on, the path now worn and without grass. The narrow homes give way to a large collection of military tents. Even without light I can feel the green of their canvas walls. An aroma of campfires and cigarette smoke and alcohol lingers close to the earth, a smell of men in old, worn uniforms.
I study the tents as we walk, all of them dark and without light or fire to warm up the darkness. I feel you pull me towards the left, just off the path where it is nearly black, you push aside a heavy canvas wall and we step into a large tent.
It is bright inside from overhead lamps, their light bouncing off the white fabric walls. I sit on your lap.
There are a dozen people, perhaps a few more sitting in a circle, some on the ground, many in chairs.
I realize then that you are across the room, sitting on the other side of the circle. There is a girl wearing all black, her shoes, her shirt, her tights, her skirt, her hair, her makeup, all of them are black, all but her skin and eyes. You start to kiss her, gently stroking her cheeks and pushing her hair back lovingly. I see you then kiss others, then stand briefly as you kiss small objects and bottles.
I turn my attention to the center of the circle. There is a woman dressed as a bird on the ground. From across the circle I see you looking at her and you begin to sing to yourself softly, keeping your eyes on the bird.
I am moved and get out of my seat and enter the circle, I lay on the ground and start singing. I try and help the bird to fly. I push and pull but the bird will not stand, it will not get off the floor. I relent and lay on the ground with it, clutching it. I wrap my legs around it and hold it like a pillow, like a lover. I sing a wailing song because the bird is dead.
I close my eyes, I watch the melody in my mind, watch it move like a journey, watch it move through a meadow, down a dirt path, through houses and tents and into a circle. I sing until it ends, then I open my eyes. No one says anything, you are turned away from me.