These are the dead years. The collapse of the climate, the pandemic, starvation, war and corruption, no food, no water and so people move by the millions north, always north and we sit on couches and sip our wine and wonder why?
Look, there is a bird at the feeder, she must be hungry. How beautiful and the flower petals swirl in the cold air like the digging of graves, the petals cutting downward, preparing the way.
Carol died, then Pete, now Alex, Timmy, Margret, Renee and Marivel … Gumaro a few weeks ago. Poor Gumaro … the burning, half-mad drunk you don’t know. I hear Colm is bad sick. Anything that says, stage four is an exit sign over the theater door. I’m sorry for that. Mothers and fathers falling, lungs and hearts striking for better conditions, the silent years shedding on the sheets or the road. Fading while we sleep and gone like they never happened.
All the kids at risk … constantly. Disease, malnourishment, suicide, self-harm, murder, genocide, drugs and demon rum and they will always be young, tottering there, with outstretched hands, just outside my door.
But sometimes I go to everyone in my mind, one by one, and we are alive in my little rooms, soft in the candle light, and we sit beside each other and I can smell them, feel the warmth of their bodies next to mine. Their skin like a dream I once had. There is a religion in my mind and my imagination is a disciple, a poor drifter, seeking something undefined, yet burning holes in my eyes and belly, lifting my feet over mountains and across deserts, upon the seas and in the air.
I am the dead ones. I am myself. This is my religion. This is my imagination building bodies from the inside out, cell by painted cell, and every night I fly to them. I fly to you. I try anyway. I try.