If We Should Treat Ourselves with Tenderness, this Fluttering Open
As if a sharp stick has pierced the skin of a dream, a cardinal appears in the tree across the road. I look again. He multiplies, remembering he’s more than one. He makes himself into five red echoes. In the house that is an animal that is the holy body I am a window. Like the cardinal, I’m a pupil, a pool catching light and movement, an aperture peered through by some wild persistence. Mysterious antecedent. From the very beginning the body, remembering itself in slow motion, as if wading sideways into an overlap of pronouns: not only myself, but in-between-us, a dynamism, a tsim tsum synapse of radiant ache. Here, and more than here, the body has been places. When you get on the bus, drop your coins in the slot, weave through a crowd. When you remove your clothes at the end of the day (carefully, as if they belong to a loved one recently gone). Who is sitting with me on the bed’s edge, who is sheltered under an eave. Intersection of loss and presence makes a form of ecstasy which isn’t bliss, but a crossing. Are you lonely in the scent of pines as I’m afraid in the blue light at 2 a.m.? We branch ourselves into the energetic spaces, sense mutual tendrils. I place my hand on tree bark for the first time in years and apprehend my own softness. Glimpse of my hand as a child’s when I was forced to pick my own switch for punishment and so had to see the oaks as broken into weapons. But even my sadness opens the red bird which opens the sky behind it, startles open my fist, my separateness, the moment interleaved with the familiar otherness of limbs. Whole and alive, it can’t be pinned down. Like a voice chorded and thrown through all the windows at once.