Monday, August 01, 2005

hear a woman singing

I broke my toe yesterday. Apparently I am incapable of walking across a room without some disruption. I want evidence. I want a mark.

Right now on the windowsill there are six donut peaches and a rose head in a drinking glass. Right now across town, a woman is moving into my old house, and I am following the ways of my ancestors, travelers, gypsies. I have the wild hair. I have the wild heart, and I am living no where, living out of a black suitcase for a month or more. Would you host me? I don't eat much. I like to leave places better than I found them. I like to leave people that way, too.

Once when I was housesitting, the woman next door, a baby in a sling across her chest, brought over two fat tomatoes. I've never forgotten that: two fat tomatoes, one in each of her hands. Her face was shot with freckles. I was living with a man I loved and would leave. I took what she offered. I like offerings. I leave mine anonymously, notes in the closet, flowers on the rail. They know where to find me.

My friend's house, where I am staying, has a porch and a mysterious family next door: two men in their forties, two young women, a younger man. They have a piano and music stands on the screened porch. They look over curiously. This girl that comes and goes. This girl with her thick blue book on the steps, reading in the dark. Doesn't she know that is bad for her eyes? Yes, she knows that is bad for her eyes. Yes, she does what is bad for her eyes, her heart. Yes, she can make a home from anything. Also a pie. Yes, she sings when doing the dishes.

We can hear you, roommates said. You close the door and you think no one can hear you, but we can.

He was relieved. He said he knew when I sang, everything was all right, I was all right. I was happy, dusting, cleaning, making do.

I am dusting, cleaning, making do. I would like to come over. I would like to know them. I would like to know you. I would like to know for certain. I would like to see the oracle, please. My offering is treble. My offering is salt. My offering is honey. My offering is my life.

This is what I sang: I do it because it's the least I can do. I do it because I learned it from you, and I do it just because I want to, because I want to...