by Jane Gilday
MILLION AIR’S ROE
Not the words they specify, instead
call it a zone, a territory or call
it home, a dwelling, a community,
a church, anything but an ice
cave, a glacier, a cathedral
stolen from the seasons unbound.
Paint yourself green then blue then
both and that’s getting close.
Down where the water turns to
more water and nobody has to
water it, down where liberty is
standing forever, down where
gulls cry all day long in swooping
joy for their wings, there is
where all is found and all is never lost
T-shirts with slogans
with faces, with pictures
with numbers on bodies.
Bodies with tattoos
with baggage with both
with wrinkles with shadows
AND THEY DO
I have met the 1,873 people I met
in heaven and like them all. Most
of them are always here but a few
move away–nobody knows where
to now and then. All the rest know
a good thing when they see it. And they do.
We can’t recall or feel the endings
too much to pay, know, too much.
So we recall a moving van, a transfer.
We recall smooth life goes on instead
Nobody here feels small or shamed, no
sorrow, no guilt. Instead spirits, joy,
delight like a garden. Sparkle of the
open halo and icons that aren’t just
decorations. The place just right.
Weary of all the who you are’s, you
recast the dimensions, being and
becoming the other who else you
are’s, a process of refinement.
Side to side, happy bottom, sway and
sway and sway. Shaking in wonder.
There are internal smiles, absolute no-clause
joys, ecstasy with no fine print or payback.
This is luck as a manifest state of states.
This is where light embraces you, when
all the baggage, burdens and boulders
have gone, flown away with rancor,
fear, shames, chains and regret. You
have won a triumph of this life.
And you are blessed.
You came out of that sad sunday
dream face of sleeping, free
of apology, free of subservience.
Wear the morning dress of a
dove and the wings of an angel.
Oh spinning orbits of desire,
of longing, of cinderella’s
sleeping beauty now unbound.
To not understand any of this. free
upon the fens, laughing in the
estuarial winds, feet wet in some
forever springtide, could you
conceive or dreams of more? No.
Who rides these sands, rides
upon centuries, in familiar arms
loving in all directions. Never can
I ever hope to be thankful enough
and never again do I wish to
forget any lessons, any graces,
any merit, beauty, worth or treasure.
This is all unmeasurable. Rightly so.
There is nothing to be done about it,
any of it, the past beyond redress
or alteration, the now always too swift,
too difficult, too demanding. The future
ever more likely to further remove hopes,
dreams, possibilities, gladdenings.
Some kind of two edge deal. All these gifts
but all these shipwrecks. A stormy night
on a perfect morning. I wanted to soak
under the downpouring and just weep.
O, were we the same–in age in
inclination, in desire, drive, temperment.
You are the plaid girl, Wilkes-Barres,
1961, the greatest puzzle. Some gate
opened for one tiny moment between
vast dimensions, then decades ahead
knowing that lostness, that beyond all
reach, that empty question mark,
unsettle, unreal, lept from nowhere.
Kept from any attainment, ever.
You say no
but I say sure
I’m always bathing
in the water cure.
You see danger
I see oceans,
you see hazards,
I see motions.
You see darkness,
I see day glo
and I loved everyone
not long ago.
satan created picture show
all them false dreams
beezelbub made a motor car
to whiskey bars
I been hexed by plenty witches
some close by, some long-distance.
Vexing yes but what care me,
having spell immunity.
Jane Gilday is a visual artist, musician and writer who lives in the New Hope PA area. Jane is eight years old, kinda, who likes to color, sing imaginary songs and dream up stories. Water is her favorite molecule.