December cold, and the night dew becomes mist, and then, in the most silent hour, becomes a soft rain. I am up late, putting my life into words that no one will read. What use is this world of men? I shiver violently from the cold, even deep within this thick, soft robe.
I cannot worry about the mud world today; I have more important things to do. So sorry! The sunrise races up so quickly in the the wind broken sky; I need to be there. A hummingbird offers an aria that only the blessed flowers can hear. I need to put that into a poem. And there is a river waiting for me to come and stare at the icy cold water. I am expected! So, no, I cannot worry about the mud world today. And I shall most likely be busy tomorrow, too.
I felt like writing a letter.
No. That's not quite right.
I needed to write a letter. I felt that need. An old fashioned letter, in an envelope, with a stamp, the way we did a generation ago, but I had no one to write. I took out a pen and paper and I wrote "dear" on it, and I stopped there.
Outside, a fog was growing. Wisps of fog in the wind. I watched it for a while through the window. I thought of making a small fire in a portable fire pit that I keep on my patio, but I didn't. I didn't even go outside.
The fog slowly grew thicker and the unfinished letter with one word stayed on the table. I didn't turn on any music or the television. I left it silent and sat down in a chair for a long time.
Time is nothing.
There was an old iron bridge across the river, in the bottom land, hidden from the houses by many trees. We would meet there. Willows and Cottonwoods kept watch for us. The river wound toward the sea like a fat brown snake. We spun ourselves into a wheel of flesh, far from the eyes of judgement. Our skin was shiny with sweat. Late into the night we would spin and spin. She and I.
She takes your stupid fingers and leads you into the darkened corner. She is Eve, but you are not Adam, not this time. You are the apple. In the darkness she takes that first juicy bite of you, still holding your fingers with her other hand. Now she leads your fingers to the moistness of her life, you touch her for the first time, and leaning in slowly, slowly, slowly she bites again.
Life is a night ride across the prairie, with your horse racing full out. —I know, it isn't my best line, is it? I’ll slow the horse down to a saunter and give it some more thought. At least there is this; the moonlight is bright, and I can see the mare's breath in the cold night air.
The sky at night is beautiful, like a woman revealing the corners of her soul. Yes, she is taking off her gown to stand naked before you, but she is giving you a far greater gift than just her body. She is giving you the stars of the Milky Way, she is handing you the Cloud Nebula, and all you have to do is love her.
The moon, like a snake, shed her skin last night. Skinless, she glowed even brighter, I could see that her light was the beacon that marked the dark and rocky shore, and so saved the small boats. Her light was a candle left in the window for the child who wandered so far; years have passed and she hasn't returned. Her light was a prayer across the face of the earth. Moon-skin at our feet. A light on our human faces. A light for our human faces.
You are a pitcher of cool water; the more thirsts you quench, the more you need to be refilled yourself. Is it night? Then be filled with moonlight, starlight, darkness. Is it day? Then raise your arms to the sunlight, the warmth. Praise that which is greater, both within and without.
From falsehood, may I find truth. From despair, may I find hope. From hate, may I find love. From death, may I find life. From the darkness, may I find the light. For these things I pray.
—James Lee Jobe
—Medusa, with thanks to James Lee Jobe for today’s haunting prose poetry!
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