Sunday, January 3, 2010
I am motionless at the center of a ring of old people.
Each wears a robe of deep red, sparkled black, purple –
One, the oldest, invites me to step toward her
And take her hand
Then she says ‘look up’.
It is night.
I see blackness without stars.
She squeezes on my hand
To bring my eyes back to hers.
You will be mine, she says
And I feel pushed to confess something.
But I say nothing.
I feel churning in my gut
And an imprecise increment of time elapses.
Something scurries across the ground
Near the old woman’s feet.
She stands still and takes hold of both my hands.
Then she steps back into the ring
And I see the many others
Offering signals that enter my eyes as symbols
And exit from my mouth as smoke.
I turn as if to depart
My head throbbing at the temples
And I, weighted by a sense
That I have misplaced something essential.
Behind me I can hear the ring of women
Laughing and speaking to one another
In words I have yet to remember.
July 26, 2001