Dusk, with Fireflies
that might never come. We keep missing each other, like
two lovers separated by the tracks and paths of a steam-filled
East European train station, in an avant-garde Russian film.
Why don't people kino people ever kiss except when it's
negotiation? Another line of storms flattening the counties north
but all too dry on the southern lip of the state, grass drying
dying and gasping. At last there's a dusk wind to cool the skin.
You spend most of your life struggling out of the water, coming up
on land for the first time, evolving lungs, learning to breathe all
over again. A higher, thinner moisture. Lungfish dried out along
the shore like lumps of dry coal, unable to go back and down
into the thinning tide. Stranded on the shores of the infinite,
some poet once declaimed, but left it there, no suggestions or
solutions of what to do next. My own rivers have unclogged at last.
A roar in limpid veins of whitewater foaming towards red dawn.
Everything I know is reduced to blood, sinew, this incessant cough.
Let those with daybooks and planners, who insist on carving up
the day into incremental sequences, speak to this wind, and try to
change its mind. The roar of cicadas in the pear tree fills
the twilight with sounds from a place between worlds, the droning
abyss, the summer day's heat in which people disappear into rock
needles and caves and never return. Except perhaps if you catch
the last spur of fluttering shirt in the still air. Wind from another world.
Nothing stirs there but the light and its opposites. I don't plan
to figure out why; why is an accident. Nothing ever ends.
Fireflies are rising from the tall dry grass as the sky cools. I left
part of myself beside this morning's sudden pond, and never looked
back. Something met me between the rain sluices, opening a door.
I don't have a name for it; many somethings have no known names.
Finding is naming is mastery. No, the clouds are lightening, the wind
thinner, we're going to get missed again. There will come soft rains.
Après moi, la dèluge. Where do fireflies hide, when it storms?
They're back the next quiet evening, as though remembering brings
them out again. At night the lungfish leaps in my chest, hammering
to get out, afraid to retreat in. Lungfish and lanterns, the bioluminescent
trash of the deep abyss. The deep well of the ocean a place already full
of too much white trash. In Java, in Bali, the fireflies pulse purple
instead of the green of North America. Ricefields are full of them
at dusk, rising slowly, pulses of light mirrored in still water,
cool stars also reflected in the paddies, lights above, lights below.
Where are you? Rain on me. I've lost my way in this breathless dark.