Dear You, Who Is Chasing a Memory:
Over a year ago I was an ocean. I was an unlocked diary left on a shelf in plain sight. I was a cage with the key gone missing, the door ajar, the beast long gone and on the prowl. Over a year ago I was the mouth of a cave, I was the place in the sky where the clouds part, I was the hole in the ozone layer, I was the valley between the mountains.
We all make mistakes. I have made mine. And it’s with a heavy heart that I write this, only because of what it means for me. That I pulled the clouds back together, because I had to. That I have dammed the ocean, filled the valley, because I had to. That I found an end to my endless love, a boundary to my boundless compassion, a door to my open heart, because there were lessons to be learned, and I learned them.
You are wandering houses, trying to catch ghosts that aren’t there. You are making phantoms out of the dust that floats in front of windows during a sunset. What you miss is a memory fading fast. What you love is an idea that has been forgotten. All the doors have locked, and the echoes of conversation long finished are vanishing. There is nothing left but an outline.
I have learned not to wear down my fingertips trying to trace things back into existence. I have forgotten your shadow, your outline. Because I had to.
And that beast, I have caught it and am now trying to understand how to soothe it. Because that key is still missing. Some things never change, after all. But this has changed enough.
We are strangers. Move on.
condor swoops picks you up drops you directly in the middle of the thing directly over where the river is, the canyon is your radius, the rim, and you drop and drop into it
unexpected weather, unexpected wind gust, pushes your body (which is a wind shield, a land sail) into the canyon from the rim: tumble tumble it is unexpected
your lover photographs you then pushes you in
your lover throws your sandwich or Wallace Stevens book or grandmother or water bottle over the edge and you run after it, you have made your choice
jump! as far forward as you can (which is at most in the tens of feet you are no olympian and even if you were)
you somewhat desire water (though “desire” is too strong a word for what you feel) and it seems that the closest water is that river at the bottom so you say “be right back” and start climbing down toward the river neither comprehending nor caring how long that will take you (numbers and warnings honestly mean nothing) and you die wearing jeans and a baseball cap somewhere just a few miles into your half-hearted trek
condor shadow makes everything dark then again bright and a seizure disorder you didn’t know you had sends you wildly flailing into the largesse; the cavern; the expanse; and down you go wild and yourself expansive beyond any previous expectation you had regarding your frail human limits and above you the condor shits, shits freely, for there has never been and never will be any reason not to
not enough water
there is snow packed and matted at the edge; you slip and it seems so obvious
your lover does not yet want to share the milky way bar you brought to the grand canyon and so, feeling fat, you throw yourself over the edge
some bird you think you have seen before but you have actually never seen before hops toward you and again toward you and something about being given an opportunity seems to scream out to you it is a voice that commands DO NOT MOVE NO SUDDEN MOVEMENTS and so the bird (it is blue) continues hopping toward you until it is at your feet and it hops atop one of your feet and slowly slowly you reach out and touch its head so lightly and it flies away and three months later you die of unexplained causes
(in this option you are the bird) a person up on the rim who wants to reckon with mortality (his/her own) and scale (in this you are implicated) throws a rock or a branch or a plastic bottle cap as far as he/she can (not very far; see death option 5) and on its way down this projectile hits you squarely on the head, it is certainly not enough force to kill or injure you but you are confused, it is fairly stunning and unexpected, and in your confusion you fly into the edge of the canyon and tumble down already dead
you and your lover survive your trip to the canyon without impulsively pushing one another into it; you are in the car and you leave the park watching the sun set over yet another set of desert canyons; once you arrive home you take off your boots and your socks and your thin spring coats; you begin pushing each other to the ground because you can, because it is safe now, because the wood floor will certainly hold, stay where it is, will certainly not collapse into a crevasse a mile deep, because there are no more mules or condors or strangers with cameras; you take turns pushing and pushing and pushing each other over until it is the middle of the night and you are both exhausted and bruised and crying on the floor; you close your eyes and think of the forests you drove through today; you fall asleep safe on the floor; still and someday you will die