Strings

originally appeared in the art show Me Small, Space Big at Citrus College April 2012

There is an aching inside
like heartstrings pulled too tight
though no one pulls them.

Key jamb down spilling out useless words,
useless symbols: black upon white.

Fall has moved in, summer’s time gone
with clouds overhead. Birds
twitter, chirping their glee
while striped cat stalks them.

Air so still and quiet, the whirr of a fan is enough
to damage the ears late morning
on a gray day named after the star in our sky.

Can this moment linger long enough to fill a lifetime,
to fill a soul so empty and yet so vast, to cover planets,
solar systems, galaxies, all universe with pristine perfection?

Orange fruit hangs on a tree not citrus outside a dust-frosted window.

Silence so loud; voices inside speak up, let out
of the rattling cage they reside in.

Aching heart.

What thoughts fill a head on a day like today?
Crazy, doesn’t it seem? Though don’t we all think
thoughts like these when the quiet consumes the mind.

A branch moves in unseen air, motion so trivial
yet bespeaks the action of arms, tying plants
to our chain of life.

We are all in this together, plant.
You and I, asteroids and comets
planets and dwarf planets
and midget planets and planetoids
and fiery objects blue and green and yellow.

Who will pull the strings attached to my beating breast?

Once, wondering the same thing, I collapsed
on grass in January’s searing heat crying salt
and nothing has changed except dehydration

and the expectation of love. It has been lost somewhere
under a rainbow in a Kansas green sky.

If I love myself then by definition
won’t the whole? Then I will pull my own
threads and cords to make me dance.

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