Studies in Window
A Wish for the Dead
Somewhere a siren – far off. Somewhere wind screaks the sign back and forth. The cat edges closer to brick, turns a corner, then disappears down the tight, dark alley. The rattle stop of a trash can lid. What’s left of a newspaper scoots across the street. A door closes.
One lit window, cracked open – acoustic jazz drifting away toward the unseen burn of stars.
I could lose myself here, be swallowed by the earth, and nothing or no one would ever notice. No one to know this moment – to hear the wind, so troubled and full of itself, to smell rain in the air, the thick storm on its haunches in back of the ridge, to know the truth that can’t help but fall.
All the Lessons Needed
The face at the window reminds me of the one mistake I left on the table – a letter unsigned, unsealed, the gift of silence for the one who will never read the words: of grief & forgiveness & forever is the longest mile to walk with the trees emptied of their one beauty.
Out on the highway, winter is a reminder – thump thump of the wipers –: the hills are fearless. Mile markers in a blur – ssshhheeeuuu ssshhheeeuuu ssshhheeeuuu.
Giving up its cold, the sky in starless black, like an old, desperate king, squats and mumbles over the hard tangle of field and fence.
Rocking the moonless tracks of 3 AM, the train turns west at the last hill, red light blinking, in a dark swallow of silence at my window.
The books are stacked, unread, against the wall. Green shirt and jeans hang from the door. A watch, pair of glasses, a table lamp, waiting.
A word contains the universe, or so Borges said, and if that’s true, think of all the worlds in this sentence I destroy with one period.
“There’s no dream…”
There’s no dream so real, so hollow-voiced and full of mist in trees as the sight of a goat, edging its way by bushes, shifting in the wind, no moon for direction, though the earth swells – and I know tomorrow my feet will touch floor, and the noise of the day will swallow me until there’s nothing but darkness, and everything I’d hoped or wanted or finished will leave as the moment closes – like a book or a window, a box, a door – in a hush so heavy, like hounds trailing the one escapee through relentless woods, muck, and swamp at dawn – first a wail, then a slosh, far off, then nothing.
The Real Art
In the long and troubled scheme of things, the doing and undoing, I would be that one at the loom by a window, weaving a story, holding back the darkness of smug and dirty whispers, of groping hands’ fat fingers plundering all my secrets – then just as clearly be that one, the hot burn of stars at the shoulder, erasing its talk and place and touch until something becomes nothing, leaving a hole impossible to fill.
words: Sam Rasnake (Blue Fifth Review)
image: 'Witness' - Cheryl Dodds (Urban Spaghetti)
another undoing of words: Erasing All the Sacred Texts (#19)
*update: this story is nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2011 (blog note: BPR Pushcart Nominations)