1:34 am, wednesday, may 18th, 2011

Lightning by Pete Hunt

“You have been cheating on me” is an impossible situation in a very possible world. You are never who the other person thinks you are. You think from this inside out, not from the outside in.

sickle:
hammer and
cell disease
wheat
hook

you are a connotation
interpretation
assumption
dissertation

Late at night when you stare at the lightning striking away at the sky as if it’s trying to sculpt something, you start to wonder what made it so angry, and arrive at the conclusion that maybe it was supposed to feel like that. Place. Time. Moment. Focus on the combination of your senses until you can’t sense the continuity that shears all the beauty from your daily bread. That is what continuity was made for, stringing moments across a leather sky like Chinese lanterns, hanging, on the rope that dried your clothes that day. Stick chewed bubble gum on every linen from that day, every lantern lighting up your night. Flatten them. Put them in a book to dry, like flowers that were once alive.

When you’re told to open your eyes and watch the news, and you have to rebel against the instinct to sabotage your eyesight for fear of seeing one more thing that breaks your heart, make sure to tell people that news matters less than kindness. Kindness will tell you stories far more interesting.

Stick with honesty. Stick to it like someone super-glued you to your lover. Tell them where their hands are necessary, where they’re just wanted. Whisper things about mudita in their ear at night, stroke their ribs gently. Tell them that creativity is the mother of happiness, that expression is just another way of sitting on your doorstep and inviting someone in for tea. Tell them stories that they can stick bubble gum to and flatten and put into books to dry. Do not worry about what you are wearing that day. You are naked any which side you look at you. Wrinkles on your tea-friend, wrinkles on your forehead, once you escaped a tyranny.

You make beautiful stews, sell them from a window and know everyone who comes by. You marched to protect your children while men with guns were refocusing their shots at your body. You wear your scars like counterfeit giftshops, tucked away under your clothes, under your skin and voice and fingernails. You cut off a fingernail once while making soup and almost saw a memory slip away into the paste.

Cilantro. Onion. Hands that hold axes and rustle birdcalls from the woods. Hands that breed, that feed.

Lately, when you can’t decide on the landscape that’s fighting with the sky tonight, you imagine desert and shrubs. Nowhere to hide. You imagine the rain that comes after a hard battle, the feeling after scars have healed – like being made stronger was always in the plan.

A.

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