Things mean, and I can’t tell them not to. Things they moralize, to meet my expectation, because I want advice on how to live. The seaweed says: This is a river; I am river-weed. Which of these/my clumps do you want me to be (say)? The closest one. That more animated brown one rolls and unrolls its lengths of hair and makes me feel unwell. You quieter green clump, why don’t you speak. Then A most beautiful bright blue bird knifed down the stream and veered left at the oak, where the stream bends. A male bird. He says: I am the excellent wanderer flashing above the stream, a blue muscle that centers past and future a blue muscle roping future in as past behind me cedes blue muscle flying future into past blue muscle flashes future instantaneous wingbeat pasts. Under the bird, forest and water. Above the bird, forest and cloud. The twig trails in the water. Twig-end disappears, twig resurrects in reflection and continues down, leads back to the tree, the undertree that lives on the top of the water. If I penetrate (look beneath) the water, the twig end dangles and the forest disappears. The bird was a flying fist It smashed up nothing I pursued it round the corner, a blue punch my violence goes on out along the stream.
Copyright © 2007 Catherine Wagner. Used with permission of the author.