“Like the way a bird folds its wings into its body as it dives from a branch, no fear in the dropping. They know they can stop and lift. Their minds plummet in a controlled way. The birds find what they need: a grub, a song, a mate. Or, they don’t. It’s the same, though, the falling.
I am a land beast. I am not meant to drop, not into a dark circle, or into the void of falling. I drop only when forced to shut down. When my legs give out.
This dream of the sea returns nightly. The great kelp tries to give me their arms. They try to find my mouth and fill it with air from their bladders as I travel down. They know they cannot lift me; they cannot roll themselves around me to keep me floating.
I dreamt of the sea before I knew that was its name. Before it was named it was just a body of water that stung my face where my face was open. In the dreams I could feel this, even after my face had healed.
I am not noble. I am not kind. I was not tender, except. You know, I know you know.”
I write some linear pieces, but usually I lose interest in them. I structure my pieces in a way that allows memory and trauma to surface in an organic way. I’m most interested in what characters hide from themselves. That interest is best explored out of time.
I bite the sulfur tips of matches and chew. There have been times I’ve held a flame to my wrist. Who hasn’t? Who hasn’t imagined death by fire? Or by water, holding their breath in the tub, making a game of it. Being old, I don’t need to play.
I am certain things are moving that way, fire or water, or some lame bodily exhalation.