Leaning into the Afternoons

Whispering

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You’ve been whispering to yourself now for so many nights, and I have been mending the windows in the third story attic in my mind. I have no idea what you’ve been writing, that’s certain, but I hope it’s vital to the deeper imagination, mercury for the veins, flight for the weightless fingers. (Lick your lips.) I hope it puts a grin on your tired late-night face, a postage stamp on your love and a quiver in your bow-and-arrow soul. I hope it’s wild and innocent and broken and peaceful and salty like the ocean water that occasionally seeps out of your closed eyes. I hope it’s prayer and playful cursing and sweet and blue like the cries of birds who do not fly south for the winter…bursting to keep warm.

(Singed, coming-Christmas hearts matter-of-fact in the back yard, yet black eyes unusually bright with sparks of cold grace and playful defiance. Bosomy and alone and together all at once and a little lost but sure-footed in an austere leafless bush. Wherever do they sleep in the icy sometimes rain when the trees are covered slowly with slippery glass?)

We’re alive all of the sudden, for sure now, yes, ready or not here we come. Stronger and weaker, bluer and blacker, happier and clearly more sad-we are being swept along toward the end of our lives and there is no point in looking back just yet. Ride.

This is why: we are looking for something undeniable (we really believe this stuff). Somehow when we gather all of our stories together (yours, his, hers, theirs, ours), it is a way of peering out of that upstairs room into the distance, the distance within, the distance without.