Monday, March 30, 2009

The bones of you

She refused to keep diaries, or shoe-boxes filled with pictures, post-scripts and empty bottles of scent. When pressed about it, she would only say that she didn't work that way. Her memories were like origami-knowledge in her fingers, flute-music-knowledge in her hands that she would bring out for certain people, at certain times of the day or night. Performance. She would quote Castaneda, say that what was important was not the emotion but the lesson of the experience.

To herself she acknowledged that like starfish grew arms to replace the ones lost, her heart had expanded from four valves to include rooms and halls and corridors that tunneled deep within and stayed closed. These rooms and halls and corridors held the parts of her that were changed forever, because of you, because of me, because of the feeling that couldn't be stopped then or now.

On her travels she constantly took pictures of creepers and vines growing into and across crumbling walls, up the sides of brick buildings. One of them won a prize, and she had it framed, hung up on her wall. In the picture, the building was so old and broken and the vine so wild and overgrown that it was impossible to tell which was holding the other up. In her dreams, she would push her fingers through the growing leaves and tendrils looking for the stone but instead always finding his palms, his cheek, his hard knuckle, his shoulder blade, as she imagined they now felt, all these years later.

She ignored the Skeleton Woman, and now drags and carries the bones of her love wherever she goes. Without regret, and almost a fierce joy, dancing on full moon nights, ghost arms and ghost legs flailing with such abandon that there are tales in certain cities of a many-limbed goddess who blesses wanderers, single mothers and fishermen, who demands no offering, who has no temple.

And why would she have a temple, some place of rock and wood fire when she has her rooms, her halls and corridors, strung with pressed flowers and leaves from long ago summers, his long-remembered scent as incense, the mere whiff of which conjures up five years ago, and three thousand miles away.