Wednesday, July 20, 2005

the follow

Last night, learning to swing dance, strangers passing from arm to arm, I was the follow. I suddenly remembered being sixteen. The Secret Garden. The white satin dress. Lifted higher than I ever thought I could be held.

The men telling me without telling me what to do. Let go, he said. Trust me.

Seven years ago, it was late. I remember I was the last one at the lab, lifting pictures into the light. A phone call, bad news from a good love, and suddenly it was there, there which had not been before there, sickness, fever, mono. I remember all the nurses trying to find a vein. I remember ice, and I remember water.

The head and heart have such power. My friend, now a doctor, said: It was probably in you for a long time, lying dormant. These things wait.

For what? Emotion? An opening? Swirling in me and I didn't even know.

Radio says: Someone is always listening.

If that is true, then listen. I am trying to do good. I am trying to be true. I am watching for signs. I am writing a life as hard as I can, waiting with the little ones on bicycles to cross the street. We see a break in the trucks and I push them, Go, I say. I cannot follow.

He is feeding me ginger and crackers and tea.

Kate Bush is singing in my one good ear: I know you have a little life in you yet. I know you have a lot of strength left.

But I don't. I lost a little life. Swirling in me and I didn't even know. I would have loved. I would have named. I would have kept safe as I was not, ever.

I will get through this. I will see the other side of the street with the bicycles, the rain.