Thursday, June 23, 2011

Mask

Some are born to sweet delight
Some are born to sweet delight
Some are born to endless night.


What makes the difference? The slant of the light coming through the leaves, I guess. I keep wondering. When you lay your hand on someone's sternum, and wait for the in-breath to lift it, what exactly are you waiting for?

At twilight I walk through the bare spaces of the darkened house. Kiki prances towards me, sideways, in a mock invitation to combat. I twitch and say "cha!" and she flashes past me and up the stairs. Later I'll find her curled into an oblate spheroid on the sewing chair, her nose tucked into her abdomen, her ribs rising and falling.

I think of Jonquil, who brought her to us, with sudden dread at the hazards of the wide world, thinking how the twine frays and the connections are lost. The house darkens. I think of holding her head, of holding yours, of the pulse in my wrist meeting the pulse behind your ear, of my fingers laid over your forehead, of all the threads meeting, binding, separating. Ahab wanted to strike through the mask, poor man. Not knowing the mask was exactly what he was searching for, exactly what he needed: a face threaded over his face, a light threaded over his light.

You speak, and the mask begins to speak, and the listening takes fire. Somewhere. I'm helpless to say where, or how. But that's how it works.

2 comments:

Zhoen said...

"what exactly are you waiting for?"

There is no word for it, but there it is.

Brenda said...

I really love this, Dale. There is a simplicity to the poetic quality of the words that drifts off the whiteness of the screen almost like breath and yet is very complex too. The threads that connect, bind, separate. Where you switch to Ahab caught me. How it turns that way, I'm not sure. The "slant of light," that's it. But then, oh I was searching for something, and this resonated, then more deeply, so, hope it's ok.