In Four Parts
by essayan hart
In the sacred clubhouse, I am the kid wearing black, tied to my thoughts and chewing loudly, guzzling coffee, stepping outside. In this space there is the palest yellow song, and I listen distantly when the gulls and doves are lulled into comfort; a swing set on a sturdy rope. I am not so comforted, and shake brittle rains from my dreaming bones. I will forgive myself, a crow, conflicted and alone in community, beating my sweet wings, even as I am embraced.
So I have sat, stretched and moved towards embodiment in this classroom. I pull the occasional feather, black and bright even in the dim-lit space, and float it gently towards the gravitational center. These are my small contributions.
Together we are witnesses, prying apart illegible histories, seeking always the hand of that nameless scribe. She sits with each of us, in great variety, and spins her world out of our longings, as the hands of a clock pretending to the reality of time. Her innumerable forms are alien to this cowering bird, and through each of you I am reminded not to count familiar things, not to divide the sacred one.
I have shuddered and bristled, criticized inwardly. Always the lover of pirates, I must recognize her in the soft places, where I am unable to tread. I turn on my hard edges, curse and name them, then turn on your interminable softness. I wear the costume of a pigeon, of a boy, and occasionally, the snobbish bluebird flexing and turning, as if to shame the oceans.
So I have sat, stretched and moved towards embodiment in this microcosm. Often too sleepy, often quite cautious, I listen. I collect the occasional feather, hair, bone, and decorate my garden in your hard won wisdoms.
If I reveal to you that I live among you, not a child of any created divine, but of simple words, will you understand this shadow, cast darkest in the glare of things unsaid?
I speak for children, always, and create myself of their charcoal songs. You speak for a myriad of forms, and ask that I stretch beyond my imagining. I am collecting faith in my own mobility. I am no bird on a wire. Must I always notice the lines I will not cross, and remain complacent in chains I would readily break?
There is a song returning to my body. When I part my lips, empires will fall away from my troubled frame.
How can I evaluate the progress of a rusty garden gate, of a chain now linked loosely? I will pass you roses, and garner my strength. Your world is often too light, too familiar, but you come to rest here with me, where I endear myself to shadows. I learn to know you best in moments of arrival, in silhouette, and in your own beautiful shattering divide.
IV. “The World is at War, but There is No Trouble With Me” ~S. Goodman
If I am learning peace, this is where I am beginning.
In the small crack. In concrete things.
She is already perfect.
She might be better, better than perfect,
If we could remember
That we serve
To remind the mystery