It's Hard to be a Saint
I was sympathetic to language, but often it shrugged me and kept other lovers. I crawled through the commas of Romanticism and rejected the rhythms, though sometimes at night I could feel a little sad. I could emerge now into a new kind of style, but the market is already flooded and my people have lost faith in things meant to land a clear yes or no. It’s good to welcome a stranger into the house. Introduce her to everyone sitting at the table and wash your hands before you serve her, lest the residue of other meals affect your affections. “If something is beautiful we do not even experience pain as pain.” (A man said that.) “I think I owe all words to my friends.” (I said that.) “We speak to one another in circles alone with ourselves.” (He said that, too.) That’s why we go to war. We’ve gotten too big to be friends with everyone and so I like to feel the fellowship of the person next to me shooting out across a foreign plain. The streams of light on the horizon are something I share with him and this is also a feeling of love. I spoke to his widow and touched his dog. I told his daughter how his last breath was Homeric and spoke of nothing but returning home.
From The Tiniest Muzzle Sings Songs of Freedom. Copyright © 2019 by Magdalena Zurawski. Used with permission of the author and Wave Books.