The cold descended so low last night it touched the grass and turned it white. In some places, soil has spat up phlegmy streams of ice like tiny fireworks frozen in place. If you’ve ever stepped on a bed of broken glass you know the feeling of walking on frozen ground. Only pines cling summer green, and it has turned the horizon eerily into prison bars, the nakedness of hardwood trees. I absolutely know someone dressed up in all the colors of mother nature’s vomit is sitting somewhere they’re not supposed to with a gun staring through their foggy breath and only hearing squirrels. Camouflage fools intelligence, but blares out loud to wisdom bright as blazon orange. More men and women than one could ever imagine have been sentenced to hell by a jury of furry woodland critters. Laid belly up guts exposed in the dead center of a hot country road paved with the asphalt of all your worst decisions. I look out across the early morning, late December scene, ice poised on the precipice of muck, and see many things where others say they don’t see much. Wooden towers untouched by carpenters taller than any of the two stories downtown. A man I don’t recognize weighed the cold against a lit cigarette unworthy. Two cats, three kittens. One solid vein of sunlight spiderweb woven between all the eastern trees. I don’t know who you have to be to look out at such scenes and read the story of eternity. I know you can’t stop once you do. I know something of the nature of truth.
I know it always sets doorways in windows.
It is amazing what wind brings to the world.
A long travelled breeze.
Here to see hair lifted.
Made light with spirits.
Exhaled like hot breath from some southern ocean.
Sun-governed beaches lapped by rabble rousing water.
Thrown up moisture with hands in prayer.
Here is your answer right here at some distant place on the earth.
Cold air against warm shoulders and worth, moving in the wind.
Like dying could be cast off and flung into the air
for some strange distant person to hear,
who might find amazement at it.
Who might call it worth.
Entitled. But bearing no born title. How can it be?
Without name, to know thyself, is to glimpse mystery.
The black, dead surface of water
plainly seen but not seen through.
There is revelation here.
Like secrets in that deep black.
Rerisen rapture and near.
Close under the surface expression
embittered old truthless
We are beyond all other words and more,
definitions, names, the titles and handy ways
we live like we actually know we are, or aren’t we.
How to smile into the face of a stranger pretending
she knows him when he made sure she never could.
One superficial rippled line constituting a surface
is not enough, neither is two, or three.
Is that what we meant?
Or is it just
the mask we put on mystery.
Hot. Wet. Uncomfortable.
Almost to the point of painful.
Acclimating to warmth after a long bout of cold.
Spent an entire season shivering in the morning.
Apprehensive about getting out of bed.
A cold clouding a clogged cluttered head.
Skin washed thin in steaming sweat.
Light and clinging.
Consistently raining beaded on brows just beneath hair.
Consider cutting it off. All of it.
Hung over ears. Down neck.
Brunette lawns curled overgrowing cheeks.
Buried chin and mouth.
Leaping laurel to laurel.
Ethics cultivating morals.
Lifestyles range over miles.
Aristocracy. Agricultural superlative. Slavery.
There is outright truth and then word of mouth.
Like hot and cold. Good and bad. Right and wrong.
Each thing and its opposite,
alive in the south.