The old woman (who once was beautiful) pondered what to say to the young, hypothetical, and inevitably naive bride and groom.
After 30 years it came to her–allow yourself one
Beyond this rickety and impoverished union
With the One who made the sun
The little one has a rough night. I make a weak slurry of medicine and hold him, curl his hand around mine, stroke his faintly chlorine-y hair, wonder if Carver was a victim of genital mutilation or just the usual cascade of indelible tragedies? How can we ever staunch the wounds?
Sir, what must I do to be saved? Sell all you have, he says, knowing my weakness, I cannot sell this feeling:
Love left behind
I had the most peculiar experience with this binary interface I have come to rely on I wrote soot and it told me I was wrong, no such word emerged from its memory. Perhaps I meant “soothe?”
I did not, and I followed soot down the wormhole of synonyms…for burnt bits of things, smoke, fire, and ash…and even then I had to go to the long answer, queued behind the others
Google was once just a really big number. Apple was a fruit. But what if they take us? Take our words and all the memory of them?
What will we have then?
I think about the citizens of fictional worlds I have lived in, how much like real people they disappointed me upon sequel or adult reflection, Atticus Finch a racist? Quentin a bit of a coward? Jem gone when Scour and I both needed him the most.
Dill, who I loved so dang much as a child, turning to the ethically ambiguous lost-boy Truman. And don’t get me started on Holden Caulfield! When I was eight I thought he was a fascinating older brother, at sixteen he seemed a soulful friend, and now he is just JD, impersonating a child, which feels narcissistic and creepy.
So I try to see my own fictional clan. Bits and pieces of them are vivid and quite wonderful. But I could not stand to see them become me with a bit of makeup and shading. I want them to have a life of their own, and be someone my kids would like to hang out with. People who could heal our wounds.
Community. That mirage just beyond reach. We, the children in the woods, making a path of bread when all the stones are gone.
I got a salacious email from a lady named Gladys Something. I say “something” to protect all the innocent Gladii out there, who are, I must add, spry old ladies. I did not do the hard stats, but the soft ones suggest that if your name is Gladys Something you may live well over 100 years.
Unless there is chicken-n-waffle scandal involved…
She buys ginger and mangos but neglects them until all the world’s fruit flies descend upon the kitchen. Voices seep out through windows and doorways, ghosts of past arguments inhabiting the souls of mangos turpentine as they molder not in the kitchen so skillfully renovated by strangers years ago, but on the ground beneath the trees in the lush, hastily-drawn country where the green bird flew from the cage through the open door into blue sky, royal palms, the street where he sang Jesus loves me this I know… then looked bewildered middle-of-the-road until she came for him. Did she tell him she would be there always or even then did she know that sometimes you have no choice but to leave love behind?
Matthew 13:34-35 KJV
 All these things spake Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spake he not unto them:  That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.
Oh, so you know the Greeks? I ask you as you tilt your head and flash a wry smile “I know it all–all of you, all of this” the smile says. And I cannot help but love you.
We are sitting at my yellow girl-sized craft table, teetering on those little chairs they make for children so their legs won’t have to dangle and swing. So we can feel big when we are still little. Sip the most reassuring tea from my miniature plastic tea set. Reminisce about old times. I think it is amazing you have so much time for me–time for us when all around the stars spin and blink as by your hand —your strong right hand and your word sword-in-the-mouth word you speak infinite worlds into being
Always bigger than before.