His Speech Mistaken for Tapping


He could have succumbed to false obligations. It was huge, like an index to everything that wasn’t happening at the moment.

He’s just a close-mouthed kid, trying to escape to the rivers and fields, dragging his stick along the fenceline. The things he means depend upon the way we say them, his dialogue of limited actions still engaged in disengagement. An internal fluid roar continually belies its patience, his future hung on a hook of “air,” a floating word almost wisdom.

Some unlit birds on the pier offer a tardy tattered act of resignation, these charlatans of heavy air monitoring the piercing stare of his scavenging speech.

The last bird eyes his eye, pressed against what’s there as one and then one again to be blindly days and nights of days. The grand gatherer of these houses lives everywhere. He lives in these herds.

An unfurling flap of shore-bound blackbirds hoists its pirate’s flag over the windy beach. Theirs is a lonely God, pampered and strict, its children cowering.
Because he has begun snowing, his edges are well-defined until he steps into too much light.
The darkness pulls it in.

Molesting his absence, the hands from the nights before are not his hands.
The fence that refuses to speak of his choice is not the fence that surrounds his imagination.
There are those who have died of hope. There are those who have come here without him. Ask him about his nothing, but don’t ask him what he cannot do. Underneath he was naked.
And with this truth he hides a deeper one.

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.