I release this bird from my body. [winter is both coming and going]

November 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dear winter.

It began to snow this morning. We ran past the cold air so we could breathe at the top of the hill. I opened my mouth with my lips closed.  This is how you breathe in winter.  The dog on the sidewalk walked slowly.  This wasn’t any different than yesterday.  This wasn’t any different than any other day.  The hill came before the view.  And the man with the backpack remained nameless.

When we reached the lake I released my fingers from my palm. My disfigured finger moved slowly, like the dog on the sidewalk.  The other fingers were aware of this, but they didn’t say anything.  The only finger loud enough to be heard over the sound of our feet was disfigurement.  When we reached the lake I waved to a group of men standing by the water.  The sadness left my finger, maybe because I don’t like dead fish, or maybe because even though I wasn’t born in Maine a part of me always cries for dead things.

When I opened my mouth a hummingbird flew out.  This is like giving birth.

I took my hand out of my pocket.  The snow didn’t stop until later in the day.  Later when my fingers were warm.  Later when disfigurement spoke louder than footsteps on the ground—when life inside a manmade lake looked more like not living at all.  Deformity reminds me there isn’t enough space.  Deformity reminds me I don’t like winter. This is what life looks like before the solstice.  This is what life looks like from the top of a hill.

You think I miss you, but it’s the rocks that I miss.

Remember when Kimya Dawson wrote a song for Lidia Yuknavitch in the basement of the house where we used to live.  You said we never had a basement, just rocks lined up to meet the earthworms and maggots. You said rocks pile up, but I wasn’t listening. And when I crawled inside the attic you called my mother and asked her to come get me.  You asked her to pull me out from under the kitchen table.  But what you didn’t understand was that I had a hummingbird inside my body and if I opened my mouth it would fly away.


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