Not It

And the posture of reaching.

Once it was declared that we were playing hide-and-seek, the first thing to do was call “Not It!” but I tended to be late when it came to calling anything. So now I am out here still looking even though it is way past dinnertime and the others have most likely all gone home. Is this it? I persist, but it isn’t. The words are still all wrong. As consolation, I might aspire to the endurance of the dark star, of sloths and tortoises and the legends of creatures rarely seen in the wild, of the dancer’s posture of reaching for something not yet grasped, of the sense of having not yet arrived. At what, no one will say. The point is that whatever this is, it is not yet, as they say, it.

The Moment and the Hand

Point of contact.

Closer. Lens moves over hillside, black with ash from the last burn. Find the fire poppies above the road. Where are they and the first call when it comes is a reminder: check the nightstand lock the doors.

Who is safe is a not a question. She holds it. Describe the sound of water eroding a mountain. With the cold moon come hungry dogs to howl night. 

Father seeking son, without the right address. Where do you send the words to tell him, Son I am thinking. To tell him what. To tell him finally. Of you and mean it. And imagine that he reads.

But if the numbers are wrong you cannot deliver. We cannot be delivered without the right numbers and until they come every stranger looks like a prayer almost answered and only a few of these look up.

Take notice when looking for a son and see one there on his knees beside the shoulder where it’s time to look and look again. When no movement follows call but the wind of passing cars in roadside sage then call again and wait. 

Hold the name against your tongue. Against the soft skin of the roof of your mouth. Of the son with no roof to shield his head. Don’t say it. Closer, calling hey and are you to the stranger and alright and how does anyone answer this now except to say yes except to indicate the pulse that means still living but it’s the rising blooms from the ash you need now. 

Move the lens. This distance from the burn will yield nothing. Go in.

The Commuters

What moved us.

And so, we went on, seeking shelter, seeking rest. We were mostly moved by wants––fears too, naturally. We guided our rafts between dangers and needs until the distinctions between shores began to blur. 

But sometimes in a quiet hour, there would come a recognition. The want had no end, did it? It was as vast as the sky we beheld at night, and just as impossible to see. It was here and it was forever out of reach. There was nothing to do but move toward it, singing the testimonies of our weaving hearts.

Later, another recognition: nothing survives, does it? No single creature. And yet, we sensed this constant drum at the center of each gathering. Only this luminous moment––yes, even of our death––has any life. We gathered to witness and were moved to move again.