Friday, June 3, 2011

New Mourning

Isn't it ironic that the most fresh,
beautiful part of the day
is called 'mourning.'
And this is my first thought
as I walk
and the lush, warm earth,
its green so damp and thick it's like
I'm laying face-down on the crabgrass,
fills my head, but not completely.
And sun, fogged into a butter yellow
by low mist,
turns the delicate hairs on my arm golden
against flesh tanned by recent
late-afternoon embraces.

Good mourning.

And that's just what this is...

A smile that aches,
sad eyes admiring a bright, present moment,
that in all of its joy still can only promise
to be what it is right now...
not tomorrow, not even the next minute.

I think fondly of you,
in the sun, the mourning, the quiet of my solitude
and steady steps.
You, who if you were a butterfly asked which colors
you'd like for your wings,
would say, "Silver"
Plain, and metallic gray,
so collectors would not pick you out
and paw your patterns
and pin your wings.
so you could fly unseen in dangerous weather,
a flicker in the air matching the
toppling raindrops,
A tired, stray leaf tossed amiss
in autumn breezes,
A brave speck, dismissed as debris,
batting and charging your way through the
mighty belly of a storm.
Wanting nothing more than to
and be lost in midair,
unnoticed, never causing a fuss
or calling attention,
but ever-elusively escaping to pursue
your own meandering ambitions.

The curve of my spine exposes its
dinosaur vertebrae, contouring against my skin in the light
as I bend low,
a slow descent to bury my face
in the open palm of a rose bloom.
I inhale as if attempting to leech its fuchsia sweetness
into the blue veins that web through my own peach petals...
Breathe, eyes closed,
as if by doing so I can create a sense
so powerful you will feel it from your miles away
and smile...
as if I could just stir up so potent a joy,
it will reach you
across the distance
and settle as thickly on your insides as
it is on mine.
As if I can close my eyes against the rest of the world
in such a way,
my thoughts will travel instantly to you,

My sleepy limbs outstretch, then,
to lift a seeded dandelion,
fuzzy silver and soft, a little old woman amidst
the vibrant, sturdy green standing rigidly around it.
She is weary, spine curved like mine
under the barely-perceptible weight of
her petals gone gray...
her bright yellow, turned silver.
The cool stem, clinging to my fingertips,
bleeding white.

Perhaps once, in her youthful, golden splendor,
she would have caught an eye or two,
or three,
even the hungry tongue of a vividly orange
monarch or boldy-striped bumblebee,
drawn to her splendid countenance that
reflected the wide-eyed laughter of the sun.

But now she is tired and withered,
having gently accepted her time of beauty
her time of purpose having arrived.
The silver of her seeds,
argued or weeds...
to become a new birth for others,
for something else,
for new purposes.
Attracting only, I imagine,
the eye of a tired silver butterfly that
wants not food, not sweetness,
no bright distraction...
Just a place to land
and rest his wings.

I draw my lips together,
as if in a subtle kiss to no-one,
take in a breath,
and release the heavy sigh I've built.
And when it lands,
it threads its fingers through her tiny silver seeds
and carries them
up, up, over
the loose strands of my hair,
sends them fluttering against my nose,
escaping my eyelashes
to catch the wind and fly away
to start over.

As I watch them disappear,
fading into the white of the mist
and the clouds,
I see your silver wings overhead.
They spread, and spread,
until they extend the full length
of the clouds and give them a
silver lining.

And I have had my moment.

The stem stays on the pavement,
and I continue on my way,
but somehow,
less so than I was a moment ago.

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