Published in Issue 9 of Two Cities Review
One focus point in the brain, one lobe, one light, sitting up on the side of the bed at night, fingers tapping out incantations in the rumpled sheets, some sleep-deprived meditation.
Say I am open. Say I am willing. Say I am hungry. Say I am ready, even if you’re not.
The bed is hot, and empty, the windows ache toward a deep night sky now too familiar. Constellation identification, even as the seasons reel. How the deer drift, take their time, no need to run this late, in the winter hay field. How the trees, so upright in daylight, lean toward the road when no one is watching.
But you’re watching. Say This is what I remember. Say This is what I have learned. Say This is what I deserve.
You trace Orion one star at a time across the empty side of the bed, again and again. Consistency, you’re told, is key. So you repeat, some mantra you think you’re making, until it all just becomes shaking. in theories of time and space.
Say This is where I will show you the night sky. Say This is where the lonely come to die. Say This is all I know, but I will share it with you.
You say, and say, wait for light to remake the day, for the blueing start of dawn, when you rise, and once again, move on.
Say There is a magnet dislocated in my heart. Say The windows are inked like an atlas. Say I am no better than geese, calling calling, searching and bent, on someplace like home.
Mary Carroll-Hackett earned an MFA from Bennington College and is the author of four books: The Real Politics of Lipstick, Animal Soul, If We Could Know Our Bones,and most recently, The Night I Heard Everything, from FutureCycle Press. A chapbook, Trailer Park Oracle, is due out in November 2015 from Kelsay Books. She teaches at Longwood University, and on the low-residency MFA faculty at West Virginia Wesleyan. Mary is currently at work on a memoir.