Saturday, July 09, 2005

There is so much in the world. So much I want to say and cannot, so many words in my mouth that nothing comes out, nothing. You would not make a good masseuse, my friend said to me last night.

Why not? I said.

You would be great, and then you would see a bird and wander over to the window.

It's not that I have a short attention span. My attention is wide and also focused, hot as a pin. I can sit still for hours. I can wait all day. I can play a minor chord and leave the piano. The minister at my family's church pointed me out to the other children. I never messed up my dress.

I wander over to the window. I count the lights on the ceiling. I watch the black cat watch the stream.

When he found me, he asked me what I had written, and I said nothing, and showed him the picture I had taken. That's your problem, he said. You're taking pictures of butterflies. And then he looked further down and saw the lines on my page that didn't reach the margins. That doesn't look like a novel, he said.

Poems pay the bills, I said, and knew it to be true.

Here are the details keeping me alive: gold ballet slippers my mother sent to me in a box wrapped in brown paper--the slippers and the fact she thought to send them, a butterfly picture, a bruise, a blue pen drawing of a gingko leaf.

Yesterday I watched an orange flower float upstream--love, I swear-- for miles.