Critical, Overt, Unloading


It got in our eyes. It got between our toes. Its love and betrayal remained
inseparable, and seemed not actions or emotions but a single thing breaking into parts and
entering from multiple directions, the nature of an organism to which such delicacies and
tensions become available.
One of us seemed to be talking to creek water and the other was anticipating
clouds. Sometimes it’s me I see in the thick fur you wear and sometimes it’s me in the
dribble of cold at the corner of your mouth.
I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not going to let you have that superior feeling you
get when somebody in a story says something and then later they say something different.
And they know they’re doing it because they don’t want you to notice some third thing
that doesn’t really make them look as bad as they think it does because it sneaks up on
you and distracts you. Anyway, it gets on people you think you know in places where
they don’t notice, like under their fingernails or at the back of their hair, and it sticks to
their conceptions of the future and it seeps right into the images other people hold of
them and it isn’t even trying. It’s gifted.
This happened on a day like the one when we couldn’t help being thirsty. That day
the clouds were busy distorting our sense of cloud realities, so probably some other
deceptive things were happening too.
My hiding thing is that I can be a real shit to people who get close to me. I know
that. I’m not going to hide it. But don’t go getting superior about it, okay? Just because I
don’t know someone’s weakness, it doesn’t make them stronger. Except for that one time
when I nearly fathered at least three children and lost them and had to give up
rollerblading for an entire season. That made me look worse, but the children didn’t
mind. They were never properly received by their mothers and got left on three different
The clouds were everywhere after that. It was a disease. It got into my possibilities.
I couldn’t risk it.

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.