From the far room, a figure with many faces stumbles into the hall— forgets, for a moment, the place of doors. Walls, many colored, bead with sweat. Hands fumble for edges in the kaleidoscope: doorframes in shifting light. This one does not want to be found. Thick air: footfalls in puddles recall when breath was all— before the ceiling rose, upwelling, from the floor— before the earth broke into rooms; doors.
***The dog, curled with her ball, waits for variation in the man curled by the door. Whiskers wick moisture from air. She breathes in rhythm, water dripping; voices in the vent. Eyes intent. A shift in the light. Front paws become palms. She stands; glides across the room; grasps his shoulders. Shakes him. Speaks: “Why are you bent to the shape of the doorway, pressed to the threshold, praying, when you and I could be playing?” The dog, curled with her ball, waits for variation in the man curled by the door. Whiskers wick moisture from air. ***She has not touched a moment in days. Gaunt. Paper skin. She sits at the table. Images assess bones, angles. Melting ice seeps from the refrigerator, spreads across the floor. Touches her toe, tickles a memory— another room. She brought language. He brought colores, spoke in broken Spanish. She painted flores. Thin muscles tighten with resolve. She stands, shuffles across the floor— water soaks her soles— opens the door— more supple skin bends with her steps— clasps a hand. ***The air— humid with child. Two melodies intertwine— improvise a whisper: arms that will need to learn to hold, hands that will need to learn to let go. A breath cools their bodies. ***Drip. Drip. Drops fall past blue drapes; open window, yellow petals, green stems. Strike the soil. Split. Smaller droplets cling to the surface, then seep toward roots. He reaches, pinches a stem. Breaks the flow. Places the flower behind his daughter’s beaming ear. “Beautiful,” he says. She smiles.
Published as lyrics for GODHEADSCOPE’s Threshold LP, 2009.