Seven Dreams Under the Knife
The hawk tears at my flesh. Imagine that sensation, like being eaten alive. Of course, he only wants to play with me. Leave me a bit unconscious. He rhapsodizes about my taste, comparing it to the most succulent of bivalves. I writhe under his steely beak, his clamoring claws. When he's done, great tragedy, he leaves me alone without a word, his vast wings flapping across the light of the windows.
A wooden house, old bones. In this condition I will strain all through the night. A gentle rain offers no succor, just cools it down. Most days I can feel the earth wanting to sunder from it, render the walls unto dust. A clock ticks, or it's the rain, and I wait for the tremors, hands held out for protection.
When I lived in the tank, I became accustomed to breathing the heady odor of linseed and turpentine. Color here had taste, you can be sure. A cobalt blue was chalk and pomegranate, leaving an insatiable desire for water. Crimson was holy, like the sweet air of one's last moments. Ecstatic, I could barely think about myself then, let alone my undesirable surroundings.
When I made the discovery that I was light and air, suddenly everything was possible. The small confines of my terrestrial life didn't concern me anymore. If the moment was too disorienting, I concentrated on my strengths: the power to burn, the capacity to rive the earth. It was a good lesson.
The stillness of the river is a sadness. For then I know we are going away, never to return. Never to let the bonneted bride lap bare footed in the shallows. Her dance is another kind of bounty. Only a memory. We return to the rage, the canyon and the fall, where we will caress the noble beasts. Our moment of the lily pad, the salmon spawn, forever a mystery.
I've failed to get the word out. Daily they toil on, a juddering mass trying to communicate with an unknown correspondent. I made it as far as I could, knowing that without them I have as little use, as little life. I will die a dry husk under the light of this knowledge.
I will not stop. I have had to forgo the common table, but I make do. Some even see in this effort an inspiration, calling it a spiritual quest. I don't mind, as long as they can offer me tribute, my daily sustenance. The journey only becomes more difficult.