She fell out of her mother’s body and onto the road. The grooves to the left and the grooves to the right cribbed the wee one to certain thoroughfares. Narrow goes growth, vast goes untouched. These thoroughfares were laid with brick and bonded by her mortar. Her hair, piles of shed skin, bygone clothes, crusted tears, saliva, letters, semen, dried up wash cloths, really any remnant of her maturing life became that which held her road together. A strange reminder of life lived whenever she turned around and wandered back to the mirage of her mother’s open body.
These days, when she turned around, were stricken by a dizzy spell as though a thousand sticky gnats swarmed around her head. She would swat and trip and yell, but without much avail suffer through the incantation. Truthfully, she wished there were gnats attacking her or in the line of fire of an evil witch (something out of her reach), but she knew the disequilibrium came from within.
Sometimes after an uproarious spell, a lull rushed in. She would feebly lift her arms and pitifully place her hands on the terribly familiar glass walls that lined her thoroughfare. Narrow is a must, vast is a mustn’t. Her mortar would stick to or rub on her feet, scraps of disposed food from a long past birthday dinner or condoms from a badly chosen evening. Where to turn? How to touch something different?
Because some of the only things she touched consisted of making finger smudges on the glass walls, mapping the horizons unknown to her, ungrasped by her, yet these smudges plead with her to mine a way through the cribbed grooves and thick glass. In other words, to discover another opening from within. Maybe causing the proverbial fault line to quake, disturbing the concentric circles she incessantly made.
The words of others, however esteeming or however demeaning could not forge a hole, nor arrest the writhing from within. The words of her own repeated like an alarm without any lips to blow away the smoke. And the words of the undulating Spirit felt similarly to the mirage of her mother’s open body: promising, yet painstakingly untouched.
To touch something different, she says under her heaving breath.
She looks at the portrait of her dying father and the same yearning for something different grips her here too. He becomes a representation of her, but on a reel of film projected onto the glass walls at night. The flickering light pierces her as the images show a life confined. The writhing has two remedies in his plot, a defeat cloaked in words of “surrender” or numb mustering. There are brief moments of another way, but they are convoluted by what is familiar and known. The resurrection of the glass walls.
She remembers others who forged a way. Seemingly, it took more than a thousand gnats and sorcery, more than a little dose of madness. Did it take expulsion, did it take eternal loss, or slobbering desperation and prehistoric finger smudges that appeared to be lunacies because they knew not of horizons, but of a universe without limit or measurement?
Where is her mother’s body? Where is the Spirit’s lead? Where is the other way?
One night she dreamt of her body smashing against the walls. Shattering the glass. She dreamt of herself uprooting the bricks through eating away the mortar and flinging them into the walls. Shattering the glass. She dreamt of her words spewing righteous indecencies, casting spells against the the walls. Shattering the glass. She dreamt too often and awoke too many times in sweat and unfulfilled omens.
To touch something different, she says again under her heaving breath.
Dare she pray for madness? Dare she pray to see the cosmos? Dare she wait for it all?
To touch something different, she says, is a necessity, an indelible must, a now ceaseless plea.