Saturday, June 25, 2005

the graveyard

Today I revert to my old ways.

Today I stay up until the clock starts again, find myself driving, late and nowhere, circling the same song.

But instead of taking the way down the hill where I used to drift, where once police stopped me and said, What the hell are you doing? (thinking, I said), instead of that, I turned down the new road, the one that wasn’t a road when I lived in this town, past the lights like hotels in the new hotels, the moon above them.

It felt like something, to change.

I saw the graveyard, parked the car, turned off the radio. The fence would stop me, but I walked all the way around. I would be a girl who traced a graveyard at two a.m., at least. The gate stood open—-not just standing, flung. I picked up a stone, as I was taught to do, to tell him I was there. I found my old friend’s grave at once, even in the dark which hid all names. I sat down before the stone, spreading my skirt as if picnicking, my white skirt stained with grass, mud—-what else? Everything else. I no longer care what gets dirty, what gets unmade. I no longer care what anyone thinks. I know what I must have looked like, sitting there in the moon, white on white. There was no sound. It was calm and warm. I was not scared. Clover sprung from the grass. I could have stayed for hours.

I’m in love, I said. I’m writing. I’m fine, and I will be back.

It felt good to speak, aloud in a graveyard, things that are true.

I think I will sing you to sleep, even if I am in my white dress, and you are in the ground, even if there is earth between us. Or if I am in the ground, and you above it—-if that is the way we go, I would find you. I would reach up.