Among the Reeds

I walked among the reeds. Heard the saxophones speaking Spanish to the hard aluminum blue. The sky a broken sun-drenched orange peel stretched over a baseball. The alders laughing in the fields. The butterflies flapping hymnals. Angel wings engraved in stone. Circus folk singing songs of the Mother Land. Woodpeckers and red tails chewing bubble gum, spewing sparks, breaching the maw, staring me dead in the eyes. I see you standing there. I see your fingernail fixed in the glow. I can feel you breathing. Sense the veils quivering like hungry bats in a luminescent cave. Awesome. What a world, you know? Time coaxes silly things from our wounds. Pregnant canaries. Firewood pendants. Paper turned embers. We broke each other. It happened. It’s over. The smell still lingers in my nostrils. Burnt sage. Throbbing frog throats. Pickled matches lit against the black Moon. Vibrant are the stars. Violent. Whispering trade secrets. Wandering aliens. Asleep in tents made of wildflower. Cots of melancholy thunder. Bang. Boom. Plagues of glitter in your lungs. Blackberry juice pouring from your pussy. Tree branches jutting from your eyes. We are not afraid to break character. We are not afraid to transcend. Are we not familiar with the etchings on the bark? Are we not alive, after all? Monkeys with braided hair, and tools for making fire. Boy can we build a good flame. Boy can we bathe in the ashes, our eyes rolled into sweet little joints, cherry tips smoldering in the light, howling, howling, howling, exploding into solfeggios over the windswept hills. Boy do we know how to dance. To dream. To build castles against the roaring cackles of life. And yet somehow, through it all, what the hell have we learned? My pen can dance the tango all alone. My curls can catch transmissions from space. And the mileage on my car is a double edged sword. But if I’m telling the truth, there are monsters in me, ant lines carrying the bodies of my ancestors toward altars made of bird seed. If I’m careful I can see them kneeling on oak pews, I can hear them praying to gods we’ve never heard of. They ask for the darnedest things, none of it financial success, none of it romance, none of it fame. They ask for friendship. They ask for creativity. They ask for music. And they’ll get it you know. On a quiet night the saxophones tell stories to each other. They send shivers through the tea leaves, and melodies through the reeds. And I walk among them. I walk among them and I see what there is to see. I hear what there is to hear. And if you haven’t already discovered, it’s the most beautiful sound in the world.

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