draft (tikkun olam)

by essayan hart

Collecting what has shattered
I rest in indescribable things
The folding of laundry
Layer and texture
The reworking of my every day

This is where I know Ayin
In the writing
The words where my hands meet plain fabric
The most ordinary things
The space before I speak
The abyss before a heartbeat

(Death can subsist
In a thought
You are folding the laundry
Fear over fear
Each towel soft
And in it’s place)

A year so far, of losses, of struggles
And of finding a new home
for my heart

All of my heart
It feels true that in love
Our eyesight grows more keen
Two hunters together
Are more likely to find
The scattered pieces

Last night I found myself telling you all of the truth. My hands unbound, we fell soft and laughing, until the fears came again, the old ghosts.  I have told these stories before, always turning them over in my hands to find the lost sparks, the ancient injuries. They are often dead, lifeless things.

Here in our sacred dimension, words lift and become alive.  I am terrified as scar tissue and sinew become malleable things, soft.  The story is now immediate, alive.  This is tikkun olam.  We are doing great work.  My stories wind into yours until we are indistinguishable.  This is the home we have hoped for.  A home not of settling, not of resting, but of bravery.  We are hunters now.

This is how the hunt begins.  I am looking for your eyes.  We spend hours staring at each other.  You have seen me cry, but we seldom look directly into this light.  We are dark-beings, familiar with the lost pieces.  We cherish them, hold them empty in our hands. Symbols, not alive, they are armor.  We are somewhat wilted, somewhat flawed. This has become our aesthetic.

I find my favorite piece.  I feel safe at first, admiring its edges while you witness me.  I am of my story now, not yours, not even my own.  You cannot help but to notice this.  You reach for my stone, my story, my mettle, and transform it. A brush of our electric blue and it is not metal, no trinket.  There is a bird in your apartment.  She is circling, and you invite her to rest on your arm.  Sometimes the hunter needs only to sit still.  She alights.

I call you a snake charmer.

You whisper “This is not a snake”
And I fold myself

(Death can subsist
In a thought

You are folding the laundry
Fear over fear

Each towel soft
And in it’s place)

You kiss the bird.  I warn that you might get sick.  That she might bite.  You laugh.