10 December 2012
Dandelions on Fire (Diary, Autumn)
I feverishly pen letter after letter, folded like an accordion over my grandfather's secretary desk, peering oddly close to the paper for someone can't see details only in the distance. Pushing up the sleeve of my bathrobe, I pretend it's a lavish 1940s smoking jacket, with quilted collar and ornate silk. I can almost catch the scent of a subtly curvaceous pipe that I puff in this vision, curving from my lips, bloodied in winter.
Too poor for anything but dreams, I dip my brain's ladle into the constellations of starry-nighted imagination, dreaming wondrous dreams, dreams of infinity, exploding in symphonies of color, dripping from the canvas of still wet paintings.
However, I've swallowed a field of dandelions on fire, the cold I caught from the baby, who slept cheek to cheek, with me, as I breathed in her fragrant and faintly sour scent, my body the parentheses to her little comma, pink fingers featherlight on my hip. I remember her eyes in summer's dappled light, cornflower dinner plates, with rims of royal blue, and her brother who I read books to, until my voice dried and withered into nothingness, his too-warm brow and curls, damp against my chin.
The lawns pale in the night, though there is no snow to brush them white. Suppose the blades of green are wishing as I am? A slip of feathered paper finds me, it says, Respond to every call that excites your spirit. — Rumi, typewritten. I make some unspoken vows, and scribble furiously in a pocket notebook, india ink cursive, my left hand resting on my knee, where it blisters and browns from being set ablaze with burning wax last week (a letter-writer's accident, you see). I await the daisy chain of light that comes through the vertebrae of closed blinds in the morning, in the midst of drifting, wondering where I am, in this sea of life.
Photos by (1) Meyrem Bulucek, (2) 亞鐵氰化鐵, (3) Marleigh, (4) Harry Gruyaert, and (5) Erekle Sologashvili