Mother, every day is still / a gift or curse. (Igloria, "The Clear Bones")
I drizzle a little fine pale sand into the paint for the stair treads. It sinks and disperses in the creamy red of the paint, drowning silently. Feels wrong to deliberately put grit into paint. But the idea is that the steps will be less slippery for the folks who live here after us.
It all circles back: stir-sticks, thin crescents of paint printed on last week's newspapers. Yesterday at twilight I came to a stop sign in a deserted suburban neighborhood, coming home from doing a massage, and saw the thin edge of a crescent moon over the roofs, between the trees. I put my hands together and bowed my head. The thud of my pulse was suddenly loud in my ears. That poem in Qarrtsiluni about the octopus comes into my mind: a hand gesturing in the water, the light sinking like heavy oil through the sea water.
Jesse comes in, sleepy and tousled. I worry about her: I don't think she gets enough sleep. She wears silly things, sometimes. Today she's wearing a long beadwork necklace, an inch wide, like the "Indian" beadwork things we used to make on those little mail order looms -- a clumsy, slightly garish, rumpled thing. Like Luna Lovegood wearing her necklace of butterbeer tops. She's always set a little obliquely to the workaday world. Never again has she disclosed to me anything like reading Elizabeth Bishop aloud with her brother. I begin to think I imagined it.
Perhaps I floated across a river of warnings into the afterworld,
only to be returned for my desires. Everything I want is still
at arm's length, a current of blue swirling with
the hint of silver. Shackle and oar, what stains the water?