Ampersands and semicolons

The wind is cold and my swollen eyes take in the Monet-by-midnight landscape of 4 a.m. A city glows pink over the ridge. Mist has just begun to drift upward off the wet grass. I draw in a breath of the air, all crisp like an apple sour-ripe from the short summer.

Sitting here means staying. Shutting down and clinging with eyes squeezed shut. It's everything that could be disintegrating back into the stuff of dreams like sunrays being swallowed by mist. After all, you still don't know who you're running from, or what you're running toward.


Prudence demands you wait, then, stuck in a mountain of remnants of life like an incomplete sentence, a hanging semicolon, a song ending in the middle of a verse.


The whole earth is violent in her beauty, the last flame before death and ice and winter. Sap runs dry and leaves scream red-faced as they are drained of life. The green trees yet to starve of moisture as water recedes deep into the earth's skin, they are silent witnesses to the bloodbath. They speak only in whispers brushing each other in the morning breeze.


The next hour the mist returns to mute the bold display unleashed by the rays of light breaking through. Rain descends, a surrender of the clouds to the dying earth, spiraling away from light and life, shot out of the slingshot of the sun's pull, path marked out and measured before we are far enough from her again that she will begin to pull us back, her fingers drawing spring from the fleshy brown earth as she reaches through emptiness to bring us back into the embrace of the universe.

The rain rushes down like a wounded woman's weeping, surging and quelling, as if each drop is an apology for how rain will behave in the earth in the colder days coming, splitting her and heaving her upward, expanding and gnawing up out of her wrinkles and scars.

I stand up from my swing, and realize that the rushing sound in my ears is not the wind bringing the rain ever toward us over the invisible hills. It is a cascade of words about something that is nothing - now in this time of everything. Why write about nothing when there are so many things hovering unsaid in the space between us?

I suppose words have always been the blanket I pull over myself like chain-mail against the world's evils. Falling down in typewritten font from the creased vanilla of old, sturdy pages...literature and plays and poems, whole volumes ravenously devoured in a single afternoon. Stories written that plumbed the darkest sides of twisted lives and left adult readers shaking their heads and wondering how a little girl with an innocent face got that in her head. Poems unwritten rattling around in the racing mind on walks through the forest. Lyrics to songs never recorded scribbled on the backs of receipts and in notebooks and journals. Now today it is the clickety clack of typing, the orange publish button hovering, a day when every authoress can read her words in print and it seems as though we're more connected and more isolated than ever before.

I swim in the proverbial primordial soup of self-awareness and here there are puzzle pieces of my life floating about me - Indian music and pages of a Bible and the words of a prophet that have always caught the ear in their foreignness. I can't begin to decipher where this return to the beginning will take me. Like the song that's playing broken record in my mind - I don't know where this journey will end, but I know where to start...

I am afraid of encouraging anyone with false hope; I hold my heart like a poker hand closer to me. No one is going to get a chance to break it this time around.




Five Minute Friday
Prompt: "Write"