Breathing is just a rhythm. Tell yourself this so that the breathing becomes a song. Sing this song all day while you shop in the hardware store for things you do not need. Sing it again while you cook supper
for yourself. Cook supper for yourself, even if you don’t want to. Go for a walk, even if you don’t want to. Put your shoes on and get the leash and even bring the dog. She will be so pleased
you might start to forget. Also, breathe. It is a rhythm. Walk around the block, and even farther, if you have a mind to. You might. Your feet will take you. They can. If you listen,
they are a rhythm also. Like drums. Hand drums. Swing your hands while you walk. Tell yourself they are kind of like wings, that the bird’s wing has a hand inside it. It does.
Come home and make tea. Every time you dip the teabag, hold your breath like you are underwater. Hold. Breathe. Hold. Breathe. Like that, like you are swimming across
Lake Pleiades, under water like a fish, above water like a bird until you are stitching lake and sky. You are a needle just then, darning holes in things, a weave of stitches across and down, like a graph.
You need to be a graph. A grid. Numbers are perfect. You can draw two lines on a graph that can never touch. This is what you are building.
If I wasn’t such a deadbeat, I’d learn Greek. I wouldn’t write sonnets; I’d write epics and odes. I’d love a man who was acceptable and conformed to every code. I’d put together my desk and write my epic or ode at sunset over my suburb. How I would love my shrubs! But all I do is listen to country (and the occasional Joni) and smoke. Judge me judge me judge me. Oh I’ve been through the shallows. I shallow. I hope. I hole. I know I wrote you the most brutal love poem that knows.
Because there is no principle of love, you and I ride horses to a curve in the lake. Because we are ever-expanding cosmic bodies, but do not understand physics, my horse will be named Dakota, and yours Chip, and when he bends his head to drink, the forces of memory and dark energy erupt from the water like cattails. When we say love, we only know how for a few moments. And keep insisting on different versions of the same story. Chaos, or better, the original emptiness, is always a constant. One horse bellows and the other answers with a clip of her shoe on a nearby stone. Because suffering is difficult to define, the lake is this blue only once. The horses toss the reins from their necks. They have been here a long time, and know only the old ways. When we return home, we keep trying different ways to feel the same. And the old sun sets on the stables. The stable man lies down beside his wife. They hear hooves that kick against stable doors. And she cannot sleep without that sound.