“My knuckles are raw in the wash-water, my hips ache with a thousand unbirthed hopes.” ~ Seon Joon

You dream that your father, long dead, walks out of the bathroom like he used to do.

He’s clad in his terry-cloth robe the color of light ochre, the color of pollen shaken from the stamen of a common flower whose name you have forgotten.

It’s barely morning, the sky just shading into a faint silvery blue. Like periwinkles washed by rain, the fragile garment of their petals thin as breath.

Why are you here, you want to ask, what is the meaning of your visit? But he has gone to sit by the window in his favorite chair; he closes his eyes, begins fingering his rosary. You do not think it is proper to disturb. You let him be.

In the middle of a dream like this you know you’re watching your heart move through a landscape it has mostly hidden from view.

You know you’ve been the snail, rolling the evidence of everywhere you’ve been into a narrow ribbon. Would you call this economy, or efficiency? So much, crammed into such a miserably small space.

Everything fit into this spiral shell of echoes, plus some. You heard the water in the dishwasher. Tremulous sounds coming over the trees. Cars slowing down on the cobblestones, the high-pitched whistle of a train approaching. Two women quarreling, always quarreling, in the same house. The neighbor taking his dog in from a walk.

It’s time to go, children; pack up your work, your notebooks, your things. There are thumbprints on the edge of the wooden desk. The drawer is full of pencil shavings. Soon the trees will thicken with leaves, or birds.

You want to empty the blue plastic buckets standing under the rain spout. You want to feel their round, palpable heft as you tip them over the stones and the cool water floods the empty garden plots.

You want to feel the weights released from each hand, the pulley-ropes gone slack. A line almost of sweetness, the shock rippling from your wrists to your hips.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

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