dig my fingers now into sand, into salt, into ground coffee beans. grains pressing into my fleshy thumb swell, digging into the creases of love, future, life, healer lines bottom of my fingers. dig my hands into that sharp infinite, knuckles stinging, fists open, close, accept, deny.
it is fourteen billion fireflies, only, to equal the light of the sun. there are, on average, eight peas to a pod. fingers clenching reaching retracting.
i tell little stories. tell the story of the bats overhead, spilled wine, your fingers on my back. the story of rocks spilling from your pockets like breadcrumbs swallowed by the chittering bluebellied birds. swallow stones to grind grind grind. the process of hunger distracted into the reality of erosion. tectonic plates. the deep ocean folding under this landmass like so much warm dough, liquid sugar, delight, delight.
fourteen billion fireflies. how can i believe that? someone counted, measured, fireflies smeared on windshield, sunpaste, dying sun, sun on my skin, springtime turned summer, lost to an unfathomable calculation.
i need you to believe me.
thick ivy vines crawled up tangled base to canopy, tangle tangle bark trunk sap. the loudest tree, she said. angry, impatient. sap freezing in its veins, wind calling forth screech.
i need you to believe me. the trees were painted on. brushed against the sky, moving landscape. i could never find the horizon. walking walking. trying to notice, trying to become a part.
today i am seeing holes. some days i notice all the white cars, your death is a white car, today i see the holes in trees, places for nesting, hiding, watching. dying.
dying. dying. death on my tongue. the middle of the night sudden truth: i am dying. you are dying. you you you are dying. no amount of convincing or predawn conjuring can bring me to believe i am in the process of living.
dream before the loss of dreams: plato's shadows, played impossibly through a stretched taut membrane. the story living in its pores, vessels, abandoned blood canals. shadows from backlight, story told to bring memory to the dying.
i need you to believe me.
walking, i lose the memory of my legs.
i have lost.
i have lost my dreams, i told her. favorite bits of myself gone now with this sleeplessness. toes: go to sleep.
ankles: go to sleep.
calves, shin, knees, thigh, cunt, hip, long earthquake of spine: go to sleep.
mantra to soothe middle of the night terrors.
shoulder, breast, sternum, wind knocked out of me, wait wait.
is it time to jump? time to rise up out of my skin, balance on treetops? conflicting metaphors keep me awake.
burrow, slide, dig your fingers between these roots. believe in this. believe me. even the lies i tell you are true.