At the edge of things: after words and before, it is enough. Enough to be out of the place where words failed me. Enough, to enter the possibility of words. The fire still a warming kind. The light dim.
At the edge of things, the company, oh, the company. How they walked on water. How they owned their words and how I could listen, how I could roll a few of theirs on my own tongue. How they welcomed me. Enough, these ramparts of their words and murmurings. How they have built what I have longed for. How I could stay forever, head bowed. Like sanctuary. Like sanctuary inside of sanctuary. Enough.
I know this place; it is not a place of fear. [Does she think me afraid?] A place of sighs, perhaps. Here, the one I know best, here we discuss. Here, we consider. [Only one thing that plucks at me here.] I know this place. Does she think it is not a good place? It is good. I will usher her in, show her the goodness. My name known here. I am known and will make her known. We move through the hordes, to the lightened space, to the fortification. My name lightening.
Let me follow in the wake of his naming. How it parts the sighs that push against me. It is dark here, dimmed. I follow in his wake and his name creates space. Ushered, I feel, and named. He names me the same as his name. Isn’t this what I always wanted? To stand with a name, any name. Next to? Isn’t this what I always wanted – to be named?
Be careful who you trust! one said. Be careful what you say! said another in retort. The air in my lungs thick with sound and squabble. Trust me, one said; No, trust me, the other responded. No air to breathe between them. I turned, reached, scampering [outside of my body] for another voice [desperate] and brought it close. [You must understand, utterly.]
Love, she said, seized me. Devotion, she said, compelled me. Love,
she said, choose for me. Fault, she said, love, devotion. Fault, she said, my story. Fault, she said, all the stories.
I loved, she said, the first one to touch me. I loved, she said, the touch. Who would not have followed love then, who would not have bowed in devotion? It is the way of love. It has always been the way of love. Are there not stories and tales beyond memory to prove my story. Are there not tales of one following her beloved, even though he be torn apart. Always gathering his pieces. Always gathering him. To the ends of the earth, to this end. Love, she said, took me and gave me a story. Love, devotion, she said, became the only way. I finally had a story I could fit into, I did not need read more to find another. Who was I not to follow the one given me?
I wept at her story, how it swirled. How it was a place to fall into.
She longs for story; I will tell and show her the stories I know best – the spin of love and duty, passion and over-passion. How these stories urge us to pity. I have made [will make] them mine so I can be the one to give them to her.
I would hear a story. So many stories swirl around [inside] me, dizzying, so many stories thundering, thundering, never stopping. Stop, let me hear one story, just one story. Will I find new life through story – through her story [who is she], through his [what is his story], through the ones he tells? So many stories, crowding, knocking the breath out of me.
Ask for another, ask for more, ask for a different story of future, another story of past, ask about logic, about science, retort then ask again, ask for another name, another’s name, ask and ask and ask and take it all into the throat, take it all in, gorged throat, gorged belly, gorged words, gored.
Like dirt, like muck, like sleet, like rain so dirty it burns, like wanting to tear something apart, like tearing, like wanting to howl, to loud, to hurl; like dirt, like muck, like words thrown in my gullet, my mouth, like chewing, like chewing, like a dog on a bone, like a dog chewing death, like a dog whimpering as she chews.
Once there was a girl who filled her breath with salt water
and remembered song.