June 30, 2005
There is a fantastic sequence in the stories I tell myself at night where I jump from a bridge to save someone’s life. It could be anyone. I jump. Just as the person is pushed or thrown. Usually a child. I jump in my white clothes. Which stream behind me in the sunlight or fog. I land hard. The water always hits me like a wall. But I swim. I’m a good swimmer and I grasp the falling person as lightly as touching your own shadow and in the water, I grasp them and bring them toward air. She gulps it swiftly and I am breathing too. And we are all redeemed. Redemption a collective act. The child who falls has a pale face, long eyelashes. I have seen that face once in a thirteen year old’s passport picture. She was very young and knew that after the picture her mother would beat her. But later, she would steal some apples and take them out to the barn and feed the mares. The bruises would heal up in a few weeks. She’d be as good as new.
Dreaming in white
June 29, 2005
Trying on a white dress today which I normally never wear, I said, how do I look? to the mirror which held my reflection, crumpled it into the trash can. The sky hadn’t logged out even at nightfall because summer was all around me. I was afraid of spilling wine on the dress so I took it off. There were little flickers everywhere. Of what, I don’t know and won’t ask. My daughter’s friend is gay and her mother says, No, tell me it isn’t so. I pick her up at midnight swathed in tears. I want her to love me, the girl says, speaking of her mother who I’ve never met. The girl’s face is pink as sunrise. In twenty years it won’t matter. The dress if off white. I take it off, rub off my lipstick and go to bed. In the dark, I hear the girls whispering of another life. I wish it were as complicated as violins, simple as sin.
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