Masochism of the Knees

Who is the girl forced to kneel on dried chickpeas to atone for the sin of being alive?

In the dream blindfold and bandage are one.

My hands go numb as I carry dried chickpeas.

In my head there is a voice that says “naked forest” and

“a tiny photograph that is passed between hands in the dark.”

Why doesn’t the girl on the floor of the world talk?

Because she is a wound on the earth’s hide.

Not mouth.

Do you understand?

Wound, not mouth.

 

Life is a Place Where it's Forbidden to Live

All I remember is the coppiced terrain I crossed to find a house to rest in. Who is the woman lurking in the woods? A fellow traveler. I'm not used to seeing others. She is lost and I am lost but the difference is she is a novice at being lost, whereas I have always been without country. Without planet. When we happen upon a cabin I ask the house for shelter on her behalf. I'm aware that we come off as oogles but want to prove we are different by washing dishes. To concretize my gratitude. 

In the morning, before the others awake, I set off for the holy site in a horse-drawn carriage. The carriage has a detachable sleeping chamber designed so that a princely man can carry me supine whenever the horse gets tired. 

At sunset my pilgrimage is complete. The Asian market is a glass palace overlooking an airport. From outside the Palace of Snacks the products shine like organs inside a hard, translucent skin. As I take the palace escalator heavenward my eyes are fixed on an airplane parked on the runway. 

It is waiting for me. 

Refuge

In the rain, in her head, an elegy for the not-quite-dead.

Some peonies placed beside her body, supine beneath the canopy of forgotten dreams.

She woke in such a state, such a state that she had to take shelter from the beloved's rain beneath a tree.

It rained so hard she didn't know where she was.

I don’t like being left to myself like this.