Sunday, November 13, 2005

wake up

I begin to run.

Tonight, hurrying to the library to get a video before it closed, to the cheese shop for some coconut milk for a carrot ginger soup I’ve been meaning to make before the shop closed, to the center of town before the center of town closed, to there and back in the dark before it got fully dark.

I was flushed from our hike, our afternoon above the Golden Gate Bridge, seeing the bridge for the first time, the ocean, the sunset, our picnic, pelicans.

I was trying to decide: dancing or or drink or staying in (staying in won). I was trying to decide: soup or fish burrito. I have been trying to decide: fiction or poetry. City or country. Lover or loved.

Suddenly I realized it didn’t matter. I was happy and out of breath and not cold. Suddenly I realized the choice was already made, all the choices are already being made, even my poems, sleeping in their little sections: they are good or not good. They will be read or not read.

I have done, I am doing, everything I possibly can about it.

I will never write enough. I will never publish enough or win enough or earn enough or love enough or live enough. And it was freeing, not sad. I shook it off: what everybody thinks, what everybody wants. What I want.

I suddenly wanted to run. I suddenly could not get down the hill fast enough. I suddenly realized there is so little holding me in my body: black sweater with the thumb holes I stole from my sister, bright blue T-shirt, tennis shoes, jeans splashed with mud, muddy blonde hair in pigtails, muddy brown eyes in lashes, freckles, five feet eight inches, one hundred something pounds, twenty-seven years and ten months.

I began to run, and it was smooth, smooth, smooth running, not like the tense movements I made around our neighborhood in Michigan: halting on every corner, always a stranger.

I only run when I’m being chased, I used to say when someone said, You’re fast. Why don’t you…?

I begin to run because I have something to catch. I am running toward something. I cannot see it yet, but it does not matter, as long as I keep moving. It gets clearer and clearer the closer I get, like the bridge becoming bridge.

You’re fast. Why don’t you…?

I ran there. I ran home. I ran past home. I could run clear to the beach. I could run clear through the surf, to the seals, to the sharks, to the prison, to the other side where you wait.

I would go the long way, around the world.

I am coming up on a corner I can feel.

I suddenly realized, should I leave my body, I would break not into blossom, but into flame. I have always been a flame, a fire waiting to wake up, waiting to burn, burn, burn this whole world down.