Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I apologize for standing so still lately, but I am trying to remember things too important to be forgotten. My earliest memory, of sitting in a wicker chair with a parasol in hand for some sort of studio picture. The exact shape of the dimples at the base of baby fingers. Certain trees from below and others from above, the taste of a too-ripe orange, and the sound of waves on white sand just before dawn. Nights when the sound of your breathing might have saved my life, the feel of a rough thumb across the line of a wrist joint. The taste of vintage bourbon and cigarettes, the wiggle of an accidental snake between my toes.

I am standing very still because what I want to say has landed lightly on my shoulder like a butterfly, and I can't move to see what color it is because it might fly away. Because everything is landing softly on my toes like champagne right now and if I step away it might chase off all those tiny bubbles.

And you remember the poem about the man who built a Cadillac in his attic, right? Who left it there to be found by the next tenant, by the landlord, with no explanation. "For the looks/of astonishment he'd never see but could imagine." I stand very still and think about that, about the sound of sprinklers turning on after midnight, about the soft thump of a pulse under my palm.

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