My husband told me that once he knows the right decision has been made he closes the door to the past. I couldn’t be more opposite, truth be told. I think that if I have a destiny it’s to be a star-crossed lover wandering the corridors of the endless past’s could-have-been. And this is why I write poetry so effortlessly—not good poetry effortlessly, but to say that poems flow out of me as small stories, but I can never find it in me to map out a book. I can’t narrow down quite what I’d have wanted it all to be. I think I like the murky waters, the crabs that burrow and wait for a toe to snap. The snakes and the algae making microscopic nets to feed the plentiful small the creates a ‘whole’. I think we’re so arrogant to call what we have within the range of human grasp ‘whole’. We’re no different from cladophora’s long green hairs matting the floor of a clear water pond until it is a marsh, meadow, forest floor.
We are all dust, and we are all something more and something less before that. Isn’t it beautiful? This is the story I tell when I write a poem. I tell the story of how I should have been a better mother, how I was the best mother I knew how to be. How I loved what was never mine, how I long for what is lost to me. I write about my fortune, how the broken pieces always fall into place like autumn leaves cover the floor and protect the sleeping earthen soil, all her yellow, purple, and especially green. I write the emotional alchemy of existing in a moment and how the true-self betrays the same self. How I try to wrangle what is changing and alive in me. How I try to chase the moments worth living with a pencil and how I bleed all over the page how the moments that almost killed me could have saved my life had the star’s aligned… or rather more likely had I said the wrong thing just right.
I fall to the ground a seed, just like any of you. And I grow into something that is to blossom, to bloom, to be consumed and to become something else, metaphorically and physically. I age with grace because these seasons are mine to admire. One Spring will be my last and I might not make it to the Winter to bloom once more as witch hazel medicine that tends to Summer’s burns with psalm balms in the shape and sound of a poem vibration from my limbic soul out my lips to the ears of whoever chooses to listen. No, I too will have my curtain close. And from there no matter how my poems are received, regardless of if they are cherished or perish along side me—no matter how many children I have to live on and remember me—I will be gone. From then until the end of time. And from the edge of time, who knows? I don’t. -Paige