Yesterday, a cloud burst in mythologies and the rain fidgeted over the retreat
of a tidal pantheon; deities swept away by a current, and we stood awhile, watching
the moon elbow out the dusk. Breathing is burdensome when cars float on water
and corpses leak out of cavernous basements. Every tablet, etched, in the cold
heart of building code was read again and then again. It wasn't enough to blame
Aeolian whim or the raging riposte of Apollo, now that we had marvelled away Gaia's
ozone skirt. Her amnion always leaked in folkloric floods each time she birthed
a parable. She once asked Noah to build an ark so he could ride her waves
and we scrape the sky to impale her in shards where her womb is soft and yielding,
as we sour the air and burn the water and strip her of her emerald sigh and melt her hills
and silt her wetlands. Mostly it was the asphalt plastering her yearning that calcified her veins
and arteries, as she died slowly under our feet. We could hardly fathom her sorrow for the tears
rolled off her torso like an oil slick and rode far into the subway for sewers.
Hurricane Ida’s remnants created deadly havoc in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York days after the system hit the Gulf Coast — some 1,000 miles away (npr.org) I composed this poem in the aftermath. Read further at my blog. Originally published at http://davinasolomon.org on September 4, 2021.
Nighttime is perilous pestilential predators lurk evisceration entropy envelopes everything wounds are collected like keys to doors leading underground and I can hear a jingling in my pocket so I denounce the nighttime unlocking the door to a home where one can sleep at night.
But once I go outside in tomorrow’s morning the sunlight shines into my soul, cooking my sutured skin along with the keys I’ve collected burning through my clothes and into my body flies can smell subcutaneous sizzling a mile away they yearn to feast, buzzing all around me crawling through my insides multiplying while vultures fly laps around me from above.
So I throw a nocturnal drape over the tumultuous foothills and begin imparting my basement keys onto others an imposing locksmith a charitable safecracker Johnny Applekeys prowling with pouncing predators masking my petulant bitterness with false wisdom my edgy perception of maturity tells me to be jaded hey, that’s just the way it is I call myself an honest realist a self ordained keymaster I wear my key ring proudly and distribute keys to those around me.
Stuck between persistent motion and paralysis my key chains start swinging like pendulums dancing like an opposing militia like my eyes once I start getting nervous waiting for the receipts to my exchanges reflecting how I’m living in the red and the debt I owe others I can only pay in keys leading nowhere.
I try to convince them that the doors I unlock lead to riches but we all know they’re paths to the hell from whence I came my words are for myself like the hell I man the ferry for selling keys to scary doors used as lifeboats in my shipwreck life surviving off of other people’s strife.
The keys are overflowing from my makeshift pit they poke into my veins like needles from the past suffocating me like a rat in an hourglass, buried in sand I imagine it’s the beach to the shore I can reach no more unlike my swamp where I act as lifeguard to a lagoon no man inhabits I say “the water is fine, hop on in” when I don’t even know how to swim so even the trees think that I’m dim when I hang my keys on their limbs.
Surviving night means eat or be eaten yet my decisions effect daytime treatment when scars put me behind bars I inquire as to the depth of the dungeon digging a subterranean home then diving deeper finding company at the bottom with grim reapers where the ostrich that flies is ostracized until it’s fossilized so I sit in my estranged egg not wanting to ever hatch but no matter how much I beg my keys unlock the latch.
Back to the beginning, back to the start, And sitting under the moon looking up at the Stars--Here and now is where I want to be. Everyday I'm with you is amazing and Memorable! Everyday is a gift that I don't take for granted, No one should and Life's too short To not live in the moment. <3
Copyright; 2019 McNally/Flanders, Inc. Title from Fitz and the Tantrums
Semi comfortable thing Orange breast, black wings She is my mother (I think) The one who birthed me left a long time-ago Protracted sunlight through the leaves Oak, maple, sycamore All the ones she told me about And I am home in a basement Concrete walls, concrete floor. The air breathes sweat Throwing damp into my nest
Styrofoam lungs Starry fractal eyes I can do anything, she says, And falls to her knees Semi-fragile thing Assured by her head Knowing better by heart
A window is broken The house is silent but She remembers exactly why Exactly when Hair chopped off a long time ago I think my mother is coming home Keys on the table Sound of closing doors Too soft but I can hear her footsteps I am home in a basement Concrete walls, concrete home Conversation is on mute But I hear everything.