There was a tear on her side as she walked to the train station. Nothing seemed familiar, not even her hands, which gripped the straps of her purse as people rushed by. The three windows above her made her think of a cathedral.
I wish I were in my room, she thought.
But she just kept moving, bumped here and there by passerby.
Because someone sent her a message on her phone about God, she thought to kneel. Just Surrounded by hundreds of people pushing on and on into a black cloud, she imagined, of Otherness.
I wish I were in my room. The walls are white and the sound of wind through tress, comforting.
But she just kept moving. Bumped here and there by words, bodies, reaching architecture of buildings outside. Calling her immortal and mortal at the same time.
Tired, she leaned against the railing of one of the great staircases. Stones brought over from quarries carried by men and machine.
What was her body to do now? Her brain couldn’t conjure up an image or a word, or even the names of the constellations painted on the ceiling. Libra, Taurus. Cancer.
Get me out of here.
The tear on her side blossomed into branches, sprouted white-somethings.
Hands unrealized, body unheard of.
She read recently of a man who walked into a desert, though it was only his closet. And because he hadn’t eaten in three days, the sand formed between his toes. He didn’t answer his phone for 56 hours. Clothes became cacti and his heart found a sage tree on which to recite prayers. He carved letters there, stuck his shoes into a rockface and let God tell him whatever was on His mind.
I don’t exactly know what to believe, she mouthed, slid down the stone from quarries carried by men and machine, took out a piece of gum from her purse, chewed until her jaw hurt.
Once, she had a dream that she stood in this exact place and undressed. No one noticed. They rushed into the subway. And because no one noticed, she climbed to the top of one of the great staircases and jumped. The floor became an ocean and her body sunk into it as into a whale. Above, the ceiling still pained with constellations and the Zodiac. When people passed, they didn’t fall into water but kept moving, as though the ocean was only hers, and her body, a strange seaweed, tentacles twisted, liberated
The windows, three in a set against the other, seemed to understand. Because otherwise, what’s the language of thought but glass fish that can’t get through.
The man who stepped into a desert that was only his closet cursed episodes of forgetting where one was. And she cursed him for his ability to walk into a closet and imagine a desert. She didn’t have the willpower to not eat for three days. Perhaps this was the problem.
If under the skin a language could birth, then why the branches from her side with white-somethings, leaning?
She could only imagine the branches. Not the desert. And this depressed her.
The windows heavy as breath blanketed anger over her.
Because someone sent a message to her phone about God, she thought of kneeling. But she didn’t. And she regretted it. Instead she bit her pointer finger just below the second bone until pain blossomed the white-somethings even further.
Dear Man Who Hasn’t Eaten in Three Days,
What is He saying to you? I’ve been waiting for hours in the train station for that kind of sex.
I don’t want to be, she thought, anywhere.
Besides, she mouthed, I have a tear in my side, no way to heal the unrealness of hands.
Now, back in the white-walled room, she understands the cage of canary-words. They feather her from desperation to resignation.
It has rained all morning. I bought an apple to eat, but it keeps staring at me. I let it turn brown. My white-somethings push out my side.
I will hit myself three times in the chest. I will then contemplate jumping off a cliff. I always wonder, will I pass out before my body hits concrete?
Two hours later:
Got coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Sat in my car. Tried to meditate on the rain. Saw only randomness.
Last week, my mother told me the family had some sort of “plan” when I was younger. I was “so out there” they were afraid I might kill them. This could be the underlying root of why I don’t want to leave my room.
Dear Man in the Closet,
Are you able to abstain from food because you’re not a woman?
Last week, I read of an elderberry-tree that turned into a Mother. She took her revenge on a young woman’s throat.
The thought startled me into believing the way to God was through a woman, though I suppose she’d have to eat, in order to feed you.
I think when I was small, she thought, I had a tower inside me that was only reachable if I urinated on myself.
The difference is, Angels speak to the girl through the window, and only after she cuts herself free of any pain.
Man in the Closet, Contemplating Why the Cactus is Beautiful, but Untouchable—
Haven’t eaten in days. The sand is almost-real. Beginning to hear the voice of God. She stands with ribbons in her hands at the window, makes me watch as she wraps them around her throat until it cuts through.
56 hours since I’ve checked my blackberry. This is a new record.
Two hours later:
For some reason, Love Me Do replays in my mind. I try to meditate on the desert before me, the small grouplings of cacti in the corner, but the words keep coming.
Sometimes, Muddy Waters talks to me. Little Girl, Little Girl gives me an erection. I don’t suppose this is normal for one in a closet, fasting.
I bought a blood orange instead, she wrote, because today, I have a feeling I’ll get something from You.
Dear Man Walking into a Desert that’s Only Your Closet,
I don’t want to be a woman. I don’t want the train station windows, jumping into the whale mouth.
She writes lists off the orange body
She writes to keep Georgian chants at bay
And whistles the thistle for its own sake
Stepping lightly over spilled letters
Such as: Don’t Tell Me, You’re Drinking—
Sage Root from Between Her Legs—
Again. She writes with her tongue
After a cut on the window. Cezanne,
She thinks, He would approve. So she paints
Donkeys hanging from a string, twisted open,
Braying “Everything! The Ritual of Our Body!”
Man, Closeted Three Oranges and a Blackberry Messenger Status:
If I eat myself from the outside in,
Perhaps I’ll beat the chest of her
Cacti. Last night, dreamed she
Stood atop an old cathedral,
Pissed herself, then jumped
Into a sea of donkeys, praying,
Take Us to Israel! Mouth of
Whale! Orange Peel, our sides
Make the Unreal Hands, Real.
This is the Divine, Cezanne would agree: Woman Jumps Through A Cathedral Window To Taste a Blood-Orange, Rumored to be The Last Seed of Christ.