He has thoughts he doesn’t think about. Birds might wake him but they don’t. My thoughts feel like speech—how one animal makes nature—until I speak to him. We use words like a tree uses light: there is a process we don’t see but do. A kid I don’t know hits another I don’t know. I say stop stop to myself. Speech keeps happening against me. The boy wakes to cry.
Each issue of Blade magazine describes a man and how he came to be a person of knives. There are veins of metal in rock and in a family and in one person’s diorama. Some is mined for weaponry, some for language. Some knives are photographed like ladies in a nudie magazine, hovering above place without a human to hold them. Their blades reflect nothing like the back of my mind when I look. Blade at the dining room table, in the bathroom, on the couch, throughout my striated landscape leading to leaving. The language of knives includes: quenching, hilt, damascus, hollow ground, skeleton handle, balisong. “Song of Myself” has: loveroot, souse, killing-clothes, chant of dilation, fallen architecture. Whitman was too late to sow me as an orchard for harvesting the hybrid fruits of our thinking. I had held my father’s knives and could feel how they fit him, and he was multitudes to me by being different from himself. Whitman was merely me, but different. I am still waiting for my mind to fit a language the way a knife can fit my hand. I want to wield them together to cut my past down, the opposite of screaming.