There’s a red light on a telephone pole along the road where I lived.
The nowhere road runs along the river that been since before the before.
The river melts from ice in a thousand unsettled towns in the mountains
and by the time it winds it’s way to New York City, it’s famous.
New York City is eight million people doing their best to get famous.
Like the river, these people have been there since before the before.
Like the river, the droplets that make up the city are constantly changing.
There was a single lamp on a table in her apartment in Greenwich Village.
We went to dinner. We sat in her apartment. I rubbed her feet. We chatted.
Chatting is what you do when you’d like to exist in a bubble, as the noise
of the city becomes background music and non-existence. A bubble
exists without baggage or consequence. Exists solely on impulses.
Impulse is the energy of the bubble. Energy is what happens to the ice
in the mountains when the sun brushes against it, when beach-worn feet
come in contact with work-calloused thumbs. It melts and flows by instinct
to New York City, hoping to become famous, known by its family.
Family is a collection of like minded or genetically similar individuals
rotating around each other as planets. Planets are interdependent,
threatening at any moment to collapse into each other. At the right distance
they are loved. Too close is craters and magma. Too far and they forget.
Forgetting is the decision to not recall a memory, to let it flow down river,
to stand on the banks, pole in hand, frazzled cut-offs dry above the tides,
jagged rocks tweaking nerve endings on feet. Feet are friends of gravity,
keeping the earth at a distance, allowing us to revolve around existence.
Existence was our moment of being. This story. Before existence there was
no pizza, no river, no feet. Before existence there was no ice, no droplets,
no chance to look back across the river from a bus leaving New York City.
We existed in eddies of air flowing around each other. There was no other.
We shared as breath, as jet-streams of atmosphere. Bubbles popped
into consciousness, churning together the air and water and dirt, churning
together physics and biology and chemistry. Magma become rock, rock
become topsoil, topsoil become blood and bone and beach-smooth feet.
Some day I will breathe out this body. On that day I will miss your feet.
Your chatting voice, which is a famous music to me. But most I will miss
the bubble of your existence. How your being raises impulses in me.
Me? I’m hopeless. A red beacon on a pole. Saving no one from something.
April is National Poetry Month, 30 for 30.