Forty Four Moons

By PATRICIA LOWDEN | Published: May 12, 2010

To let go. To really let go. To burn the last little bit with gallons of gasoline. To watch the rain dissipate the charred remains into mud, into the earth. To tell no one. To not explain. To crank open the rib cage with a knife and fork and let that bloody beast free of its impending sacrifice. To stand still long enough to decipher the wind's direction. To be honest in the face of the illusion, years wide and miles long like hell in your hair and scars that still trickle with rainwater. To not win or lose. Neither to have or to have not. Not empty handed but something always there interlaced with light.

1.A deluge of images: A porch painted blue twilight. The blurred laughter of the crowd. Something someone said you'll always remember but will never speak aloud. The smell of a single morning daffodil rousing the day from the darkness. Yellow light on half naked bodies shaped like women in love. Words spoken in the new unbelievable light. Roadside and the wide berth of the bees. Wednesday's golden glass of whiskey. Something I was about to say and a finished sentence. The story the story the story. The kiss the kiss the kiss. In the car. On the mouth. Between the shoulder blades. Bottle caps. The grass is always greener. The lights that fade red into black on the way out. The square peg that I am and your life full of round holes. Crying wolf when that thing we sensed was our own heart. The vow of silence that the silence itself screamed out at us, each in her own curve, on the edge of it., battling the cliche.

2. I want to sit in a dark room and mourn this bright unforgivable light that set us on a path to nowhere.

3. There is much to do. Not only do I have to figure out how to build the boat, I have to mend the sails. Consult the stars. Empty my pockets and make room for my provisions.

4. I wanted an image and I was bombarded by a world. I wanted a world but all I could see was the billions of fragments it’s made up of. I wanted to burn but the water soothed me. I wanted to drown but breath after breath consumes me.

5. I mourn you in springtime because that is where I found you. It has been three years now, forty-four moons ago, thousands of pages written on, against, torn, crumpled, condemned, tossed in flame, honored, lain silent shrouded in mystery. I mourn you because I don’t know how to let you go and you have gone already.

6. You mourn her. I’ll mourn you. Who will mourn me? Ghosts I couldn’t go back to if I tried.

7. There’s no time for mourning. There is much work to be done. I just have to make sure the sails are worthy of the wind and life will do the rest.

- Life- Remember that. A hand on the thigh and then the warm rocking waves we became licking at the crest of each other. I dream this nightly and wake alone wordy and bewildered. Coffee focuses my desire on other things: Clear space, a casual hello to someone I could never love, a record spinning, a wrought iron gate rusted from centuries of rain. It creaks as I open it to the view of someone else’s garden.

8. I’m tired of time. Things that take time or need time. Forty four moons and counting and you’re still there beside me every day. I try to shake you. First gently like blinking the road dust from my eyes, then annoyed I swat vigorously at you like you are a bee that has mistaken me for a flower, and again nothing. I grow violent, shifting and shaking like a dog from polluted waters, and finally, blindly like a drunk with a fifth of rot gut gin I close my eyes.

9. But this is not what I want, to lose you. In fact it’s an impossible notion. So I’ll just spend my days tightening the knots in the ropes, dreaming mooring posts in other lands. So, when I’m ten days out to sea I’ll realize you’ve stowed away with me.

10. It’s the delusion that has got me going tit for tat.

11. Or was it your vision in the first place….the first place….the bar…..the street corner…where I was leaning against the street sign, having just returned home from a long journey…and I caught your eye and you stopped short in front of me. And we have been standing here every since.

12. This could be a novel. This, a prelude to it. It could be one word that you discovered written on me as you traced the high arches of my feet, the sudden edges of my mind, the unrelenting banter of my heart…. indelible.

- An except from these pages, the ones I wrote on in place of your body, when you stranded me there, in the dream, on the island, beneath the heavenly palms you never saw:

I find myself stunned at the thought of so many things. ‘Things’ as it were, or is, or can be, maybe haven’t, or simply cannot.

I could suggest the names of them, these things, supposing of course they have been named or given definition to, called out or after, or somehow have come into their own. But I have only just begun this journey and the afternoon light entwined in the breeze is a language I can only loosely decipher. It is only until now that I have allowed the permanence of ink to give life to that wonder that has increased my vision and aroused in me a sense of purpose. Albeit directionless as the wind is always changing direction and is only constant, not consistent.

And I suppose it would be fair enough to say I had become lost. Yes, lost, mostly a faithless apparition, a pale persevering force, broken in places, clinging to the tattered edges of a story that would never breathe on its own, if indeed in my deep disillusionment there was a story. I am sorting out the details. They are a sorry lot of sentences humbled and had strayed off to that place where things go to die, on their own, in peace. But I am selfish, with all this bloodletting I must follow the trail, not to stop the death of it, no, it is much too late for that, but perhaps to examine the remains. Call it poetic license, call it a study of the depraved, beaten, brutal corpse of a tragedy, the examination of big love’s big almost. But today I’d like to call it a near miss as I had been struck by a blunt instrument, my own stupidity. And allowing room for sweeping generalizations: If love is a benevolent force it certainly did not embody its spirit in this.

And this here tale requires the brute force of an exorcism, the cathartic chanting of centuries of poets, the pulse and blood of voodoo doctors. Hell, bring in the Pentecostals, the pagans, and please make room for the Einsteins of our day. Daring to go even further than that, leave me on the shores of no man’s land with nothing but a plastic shovel and some rum and send me in search of the other half. The wind is relentless. The moon half asleep. If I make it back to the modern world in the time allotted to me, well, I will have returned, rightfully, unto my true nature, a miracle of light, unyielding against the alarming day, untethered and fearless, having enough fuel to warm the long nights against doubt.

But I have gotten way ahead of myself. I have only just picked up the scent of blood. The night is young. I must prepare myself for what I might find in my exploration.

13. Somewhere along this unmapped road I stop and open my suitcase. You know the one. I have allowed myself to succumb to the deluge of images. I spill the ashes of friends, cough up the last shards of my accidental plunging into madness, pick the dead flowers from my hair, and loosen the knots of the thread, one end and then the other. No longer taut, now weightless I remember the buoyancy of my life. From here it’s all walking on water and fresh fruit from the trees. It’s all arching like the spray of the young Palms and late afternoon light. Constellations and a slowly rising moon I stole back from a myth that never found its origins. A women. I am all curve and rise, all song and juxtaposed.

14. Easier said than done. Where are you that you cannot hear me? On your own road with someone you know how to love after ten seconds while I’m here deciphering the life times we’ve accumulated. We’ve dreamed our children. Sandy, sudden, sweet. Sifted through ancient photographs, we’ve stumbled upon ourselves again and again.

15. I think of you. I think of you early evening blue through the windows of my house in the valley. You held your head in your hands and cried time and again about how you are not possible. How you could never undertake the true task of living the bigness of this life.

16. I think of myself. Pure yellow sun streaking straight through me. Alive and alive and alive.

17. I showed you you were possible and you ran with it. You showed me impossibility and I have understood its meaning and read the fine print over and over again.

18. I shudder at the recollection of beginnings, when wonder was merely a curiosity. Innocent enough to take by the arm and question lightly, not really interested in the answers. Simply to walk with wonder into the night knowing it has a life of its own. You see this is where the path is winding. Here it is, where I must grasp the images in the darkness and pull them into the light. While some images leave the sweetest feeling, turning it inside out in my palms, it leaves the softness of life. Sticky skin sweet kid play and a shy budding bloom of befriending that which you have always known. The surprise of the feeling, the possibility which sweeps over you. The realization of this thread, unbreakable between. Beginnings. So easily forgotten in the thrusting away of the possible, in denial, in confusion. Hard to find in the cesspool, the afterthought, in the open wound. Hard to say when exactly we started shitting where we lay our heads down to dream.

19. I write this, a litany of truths from the half light of the spring rain under which we will all go green. Honest as the first unfurling forsythia, raw as the earth from which the daffodils rise. Steady as May and sudden as June as summer sings me free from all that we didn’t choose.

20. I’ve sketched out the plans. From the stern to the bow she’s a strong ship. She’s starting to rock steady against the current. I’m still measuring the fabric for the sails. It’s going to take a lot. I want to take on the bigness of it all. The immense space between being born and a final landing. I’ve fashioned oars, a plank, a galley from the great oak that fell outside my window last year. It’s taken me a long while to get at the core of it, where the good wood still bends slightly with a subtle touch. I’ve lightened my load, burned the last of the old notes, fell in love with the shape of my scars, and coiled the rope in all the appropriate places.

21. I know when you feel the wind at your back you will think of me and smile. Maybe that is enough.

22. No telling when I will push off from here. I suspect it will be when the days grow tired of being light and I have gathered all my heart in one place and have enough food to keep her sailing right along. To not look back and to not be concerned so much with ever arriving at one place or another.


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