You have told me nothing is coming to you. That when you wake, it’s as though someone else is home within your body and perhaps you’re somewhere in a loft, counting spider webs, listening to wind and shadowy things.
You write that your mind has left a space you cannot fill, though you try, drugging up snails and bits of words as you walk to the bus stop. I know. And have avoided writing about it, have slept for hours instead of stare into the blank page to answer you, because I, too, am off somewhere counting the geometry of spider webs.
Honestly, I hope that’s where we are, you and I. That our bodies may be in mud, but that we are somewhere higher. Though shadows persist even there, as we count the webs given to us.
When will this lift? You ask. Ask me tomorrow. Today I am wandering, like you.
When was the last time a current came to your door? Perhaps it is coming, but still distant, far off and crying “faith!” I hope.
Because this morning, in the bath, I caught a moment sputtering by, shadowed in a mess of pain. Poor thing, it could hardly walk. It was crawling in the wood paneling, whispering. It was taking it’s own skin and shedding it.
I know what that’s like. The desire to peel away the excess of day, the film of boredom. Self-induced or not, it’s alein. The moment kept circling, crawling, whispering, peeling, bit by bit, its own skin away. Reveal! I said. Go on, let us see what’s under you.
Like when I woke, arm next to me. Wanted to scrape, see if I could get a bit of bone to show through. But flesh is flesh and my mind is off somewhere I cannot reach. Perhaps with you. Perhaps we’re singing and we don’t know it yet.
Don’t you feel a shadow hanging over you? You asked.
When I lie down it builds mountains on my chest so I can hardly breathe.
You say you want to fight against the alien inside you. I know.
When you speak, it’s void, when you write, it goes nowhere, reaches no one.
And that’s a lonely desert in which to have no resources, no moon or cactus flower to speak to.
But the current is coming, and whether you drown from its power and never find your body again, or it trickles in, slow and with tenderness, it will come, speak your name, give you back to yourself.
Lie down. Be dead. Still. Tear skin away. Hear minutes unhook their scales.
When will this lift? You ask.
Ask me tomorrow. The shape of things vortex at my door, too. If I go one step nearer to inquire, I might drown. Sometimes the questions feed the shadow. It grows into what looks like starlight, what parades as promise.
And that’s a lonely desert. Thinking your next word will be what saves you.
Lie down, I told myself.
And I tell you this, too. Be still.
The alien inside? Don’t fight it. Let it breathe. Tear skin away in segments. Minutes will unhook their scales and we may never feel real again. This is what it’s like,
daydreaming of cactus flowers to speak to. A moon.
I’ll answer. Step nearer the vortex. Call myself from the loft where I count geometric webs.
Shadow, I answer back.
Wait. A current is coming.