Monday, July 14, 2008


We keep pretending we do not care, when truly the freedom lies in an open mind, in the realization that the worlds we create are entirely of our own doing, that the worlds we choose to move in have been manufactured in the exact specifications that our minds first set forth.

He taught me this and now there is no turning back.

We met there, again.

"My wings hurt," I said, after a while. We were wiping the blood from the base of my spine with what used to be some black shirt I wore to the {whatever it is you called these things}. The gestation of wings takes a human year at most, and many, many things had to be given up to remain standing today.

"You just grew them, stupid." He was right. I was scared.

"I'll miss the land. I'll miss walking. I'll miss the smell of grass."

For a winged creature, this guy can roll his eyes. "You tell me things: brain things. How you should believe that life is kind and all-giving. And I believe them. I believe them because you say you believe them. It's your turn. I can leave you right now, you know. They have women waiting for me up there."

"I'll miss the men who do not know my name. I'll miss the houses. I'll miss the nurturers, the dorks, the wool-gatherers."

He snaps his fingers and produces a steady, red-rimmed flame. It danced on the tips of his fingers, like silk. He lights a cigarette with it. "You can go on and on about this."

"Indeed, I can."

"But you trust me, right?"

"With my life." No truer words were ever said.

He opened his hand, which was no longer the kind of hand you grew up knowing. It had thick, root-like veins and the marks of both self-mutilation (pain) and injectibles (pleasure). It looked like the hand of a well-traveled man. It was the kind of hand you could get lost in. It was the kind of hand you wrote poems about.

When I said yes, the world changed. Suddenly the land and the earth and the trees were just similar agents of substance arranged in different shapes and forms: you'd be surprised how predictable these assumed shapes actually were. Suddenly the clouds were no longer unreachable, the moon no longer a lonely satellite. Suddenly all my fears seemed irrelevant and small.

I could still feel the blood trickling down my back but the recognition that it is just that: blood, nothing more, is liberating.

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