there is rebirth and then there is rebirth

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I am stagnant.  I am unmoving, unfeeling.  Which is a lie.  Like telling yourself you’re broken, because you feel less whole.  But it’s thought.  That is how thought works, like unconnected spindles.  Like sand.  Incomplete particles of a whole, scatter.  But we try to see parallelograms.  To understand how to fall upon the loss of breath. 

And we all wait for thunderstorms, and shapes in the glass.


The dog runs for the stick you’ve just thrown.  Her gait is grace and understanding.  Control of the world and over it.  And it’s easy, and you’re jealous. 

She stands over the stick poised, waiting.

“Get it,” you say to her, and she strikes.  Letting her teeth mark the wood.  Marking something alive.  It happens to all of us.

Then you throw the stick over the fence.


You know exactly what he means, the man with the blue bandana around his neck.  The one who asked if you could spare a beer.  The one you said yes to.   

            You’re talking about music, about Joanna Newsom’s new album.

            “You want the lights out, you want to be naked with the lights out,” he says.  “And never standing.  It forces you to lay down, preferably in a bath.  Because the music is the water and you want it to surround you.  It’s the kind of thing you needed, desperately, but didn’t know it.”

            You know exactly what he means.

            “When I listen to it I want to share it with someone.  A beautiful woman,” he says, “but you already are, and so you have to be alone.”

            Even with the man with the blue bandana.


You sit outside on the steps and remember when you felt witty.  And it makes you feel awkward.  You tell yourself it’s all downhill from here.  Like a hillside eroding.  But at the bottom your life is piling.  And the taluses have base – a batholith of protozoic wisdom, and turbidite confusion.  But you can’t get rid of them.  Not even a layer.  And part of you is still at the top, looking down.  But you know it, and you’re whole.

            The sign on the road says, Beware of Fallen Rocks. 


And we all wait for spring, because smells carry memories.  Mothers tell their children stories, because we can’t remember. 

Your Mother is holding a picture of a kid wearing a shirt covered in glow in the dark lightning bugs.  His hair is slicked up in a wave.  He’s smiling in his Umbros. 

“Look at you,” she says.  “One of our trips to Corpus Christi.  On the Sunday sermon at Patch and Grandma's church the minister asked, ‘How could Jesus walk on water?’  All of a sudden, a little voice pipes up and says, ‘because it was frozen.’  You had just started playing hockey.”

            But you don’t know that little boy.  And it makes you wonder why some things burn faster than others.  And you think of cremation.  And I think of my mothers.


Because who am I without the women of my life?

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