Post-Cognitive

I wish he didn’t ask.
How’s it going with you and…?
Gleaming Herakles tilts his lynx ears toward Orion.
I hope the glancing-eyed Archer is too absorbed in the sport to see.
My pallor, draining into shrugged shoulders.
Leaving a gaze cement, mechanical.

Since when is this July?–my hands are so cold.
I’ve been praying I could maybe feel that summer breeze, been praying the Earth would stop spinning so fast.

Why does she have to spin so fast?
She just keeps spinning and spinning…

And if there’s anything I’ve learned.
Forward motion doesn’t pull over to the side of the road for anything.
But, sometimes, you can lean against that gravitational pull–
Step one, walk to the kitchen after the game and make a cup of tea.

Which, I was hoping you’d be there, watching me pour the boiling water.
Watching me feel proud of how I don’t want to burn myself while I’m pouring the boiling water.
And see me use the steeping roots you gave me.
The calming Kava and bright Licorice.
Letting the steam curl to my face–

But I am alone.
Step two, walk to the amphitheater, sit down, and breathe.
Breathe in the steam, Breathe like she taught you.

Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four. Breathe In one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe Out one two three four Hold one two three four Breathe In one two Hold one two three Breathe Out one two Hold one two three Breathe

Herakles arrives in his Shadow way.
Not gleaming so much.
He sets the oak roots of his legs at almost right angles.
Sitting behind me like a tower.

How is it, really?
Don’t really know
All right, you don’t have to talk about it

I feel like I’m hitting my head against a wall
I’m sorry to hear that
Sip the scorching tea.
Is that supposed to help

And then I: Flash Flood, Flash Flood like I know how

The glancing eyes the careful steps the shoulders turned away the vapid smiles the waning conversations the fresh smell of Lemongrass the Earth spinning the Sun just not caring the uninterrupted nerve endings the frustrated nerve endings the trying to go hunting the promise to find the creek the tugging towards the Ocean the two years ago in my apartment the therapist’s couch the empty hands the music’s cackling decadence the tossing and turning at night

God I hate this song
He says.

It drips like the condensation on a cold glass of water.
It burns like the fire Leo stokes in the pit below.

The music, the Earth spinning–
Trigger

Herakles looks at me like a river and says,
Come on, let’s get out of here

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Letter to Orion

If you ever want to skip town for hunting game in the nebulas,
take me with you.

If you ever want to pack up and go hike through the night skies,
take me with you.

If you ever want to get lost and dumpster-dive in the alleys of Mars,
take me with you.

If you ever want to stay up all night at a saloon in the clouds,
(we’ll trace each other’s constellations)
take me with you.

If you ever want to forget this gravity for a storm planet orbit,
(we’ll play hide-and-seek in Saturn’s rings)
take me with you.

If you ever want to wander from the tide and go chase meteorites,
(we’ll dance in the shower of shooting stars)
take me with you.

If you ever want to slip off into the woods
(we’ll carve our initials in the bark of Zeus’ oak)
take me with you.

If you ever want to run away and find our own quest like the heroes of old,
(we’ll make a legendary myth, darling)
take me with you.

Take me with you,         take me with you,         take me with you,         take me with you,

If you ever feel the urge to leave your fears behind,
take me with you;

If it’s nowhere or anywhere,          I don’t care, I don’t care,           just as long as you
(promise me you’ll)
take me with you.

Blue Moon

Grandmother Crane had promised open doors,
Eyes wise and blue.
Yet I could not read the sky,

Clouds too heavy laid thick on my ribs.
Weeds twisting Hydra throughout the spaces.
My lungs squeezed tight until the roaring sound released,
Ice air at my feet on the edge of a precipice.

Following the constellation of my footsteps,
The Lynx calmly talked me down,
Exchanging tiredly turbulent waters
For winding roads of conversation on maroon couches.
Daylight dimming.
I had to open my hands again, he said.
The Full Moon should soon be rising.

Night fell,
Downstairs,
A patch of sandy light appeared in the window.
The Lynx opened the door and nodded his head,
Eyes steady;
“Lion courage.”
Through shaking aspen skies I stepped, 

Straight into the eyes of Orion.

Shooting stars,
The archer’s hand took hold of mine.

Foggy horizon, 

Sparkling nerves.
Can we go outside and talk? 

And so followed the bowman sheathing his arrows.

On the deck of the treehouse,
We leaned over the railing before each other.
Wordlessness thrown into poorly shaped pots,

Branching out and tripping over the twigs.
Sometimes truth is choked out with fire.

Finally the midnight sun rose,
The night growing ever brighter.
“It’s been two Blue Moons since,”
Orion said.
He smelled like wild Redwood.
Surrounded by the nebula,
I found that we fit.

Summertime in the Orion Nebula

// I was trying to make it look like there were stars at my feet.
Something in the way that I walked.
But I’m not perfect.
Are you?
Probably not.
But then there’s that dryad look in your eye.

I started out saying Hell no, but the letters got tangled despite myself.
That wasn’t one of the knots I learned last week.
Bowline on a Bight —
I’ve learned to be pleased with my calloused hands, but I’ve held so much.
And this mess in my stomach seems to twist and tighten, having been there in the first place.
Shoot.

Bulletproof vest?
Useless when the weapon changes.
The redwoods stand tall like a quiver of arrows, piercing clean through my cage.
When the trees woke up to dance with the wind —
There, wordless sounds whispered my real name.
The song rushed around in the branches, calling me to breathe in.

So I stood in a wild stillness.
Watched the full moon rage quietly in its mercury reflection on the black sea water —
Shining on new faces, new phases.
And then the constellations become clearest on the darkest nights.
Dear God.
You’ve piqued my curiosity. //