Movement

I’ve not used my blog for this before.

Lately, typing is hard. My left hand suffers from a loss of dexterity and some minor tremors because of one of my brain tumors. It’s dead, so the nerves should start to repair themselves soon: we’ve zapped it with focal radiation and I’m on steroids to help with the edema that’s aggravating it.

Still, it is aggravating. I taught myself to touch type when I was young, and now my typing feels labored — something I have to focus on and think about. But instead of whining about this new stepping stone, I’m learning how to live with it until it resolves.

So I found an old poem that wasn’t on my new computer and transcribed it tonight to practice typing something that required focus and agility. I don’t normally share my poetry (I’m self taught and not very good), but here it is — seemed appropriate somehow. Consider this practice.

Movement

All October
we watch the decadent decay of swallows
descending South for the winter. Your hand
rest anxiously on my shoulder, heat
from my collarbone inhabiting your fingers.
The birds call, dive,
and thread back to land;
accidental pilgrims against grey clouds.

The landmarks we recognized
were alive, and conscious: the horses
lined almost unmoving on the fence;
trees that shed their identity
every four months. Counting the leaves
was our only measure of time: the present

howling on, the past irrevocable,
pausing and falling, dead grass against
a dying horizon. “Fall,” you said
one November morning, “it always ends
crashing.” I pictured your words
photographed in my mind, shrouded
in twisted dark branches: a black lace pattern
facing a colorless sky.

The barn was ours in December, vacated
and nameless. We learned the stretch of skin
lying frozen in the hayloft, spoke lies
near twilight; the faded, aged dawn throwing
shadows on our words. We chanted rhymes with
elastic certainty – “Make me no promises
tell me no lies” – and pretended to catch firefly skeletons
in the lap of night.

It is not the things we have built, I think,
but the ruin of things
we want to build.

The pattern of winter seeping
strong into your face taunts my nerves
with delicate fingers. You bring salt water taffy
from home, the sting of summer
catches against my teeth. The sun is the same.
Holding a brilliant metal court, but its rays
extend just above our atmosphere

tasting the earth
with a hollow tongue.