Calvarium 10

I once read about a woman who believed she could dissipate 

…the clouds with her mind

but after much thought I have decided I do not want them to go

I see all their stories

As though God Himself were

Finger painting sand art

Casually insinuating angel wings here or the mirror reflection of the map of China in fluffy white

Clouds like babies come and go

Maybe they too grow up 

Go to college, stop needing us anymore as we gaze up at them snow-globed in blue sky beneath inky infinite wonder, fields of burning stars, 

Called all by name.

Calvarium 6

The boy-man on the Tarmac in Manaus, Brazil middle of the day on December 27, 1987 was wearing a Talking Heads t-shirt, and the girl inside the plane thought Talking Heads in the heart of the rainforest?  Small world, then disembarked to a claustrophobic gift shop, lined as it was with fertility statues and shrunken heads. And jewelry made from river stones, each one small and beautiful and perfect:  irreplaceable held in the palm 

of the hand.

Calvarium 5

  • 2 doz. cupcakes
  • Tea lights
  • 2 doz lei
  • 2 doz gift bags
  • 12 feather boas
  • 12 pirate swords
  • 2 gal milk
  • Birthday banner
  • 2 packs juice boxes
  • 5 pizzas
  • 12 assorted party crowns
  • 12 pink tiaras

As the children come into the party room they see the treasure box by the door overflowing with odd vests, second-hand dresses, scarves, hats, helmets, shields, tutus, capes (of course), foam swords, and they don these things, perhaps serially-changing from knight to ballerina to carpenter 

Seamlessly 

Because they are children 

And this is their kingdom.

Calvarium 2

Old time-y barber shop, corner of a once prosperous downtown, old fellas talking about the game on cathode ray TV mounted on the wall.  Men coming and going, sitting, standing, paying tips with crumpled dollar bills. So many versions of the naked pate, the scruffy, and the wispy comb-over.  Knife to chin, razor to scalp, going through this mitzvah of voluntary loss as that ancient metaphorical talisman turns on its axis outside-red/white/red/white ribbons of our old, shared story of triage.  Triage or else.

Cathedral in the water

I see the two hapless, arbitrary, even hypothetical plastic children’s toys descending to the depths, their lovely, efficient tunics, interchangeable hair helmets, ridged plastic arms and hands thrust out marking each fall deeper through zones of habitable waters-here, the last hint of light, here the very last marine mammal, here the beginning of cold and dark and heavy as words we have never know the way he did-“my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”  All because something that was always supposed to be

Real

Alive

Heavy 

Has gone missing-reduced to light metaphor and toy architecture, the constant illusory ability to cup thin streams of water in human hands…I am losing you, losing you, mostly hypothetical plastic figure of a child, while at the bottom rests this drowned world–drowned streets, drowned trees, inky human figures curled in fetal positions inside this drowned

Cathedral in the water of

big infinite sea.

Could have been a song

I told myself pretend it is music after all the women’s voices are poignant, the story they tell is haunting-haunting the way a song might haunt you words very simple, sung to a child go to sleep, child, go to sleep, miles and years and day away from the moment you will remember for the rest of your life-a knock on the door-changing everything.