THE EDGE

There is such a thing as too much trauma. As there is such a thing as too much truth. The bald head with the scarf ripped off by a callous wind cackling at the chemo last light horned last night like a desert memento by Georgia O’Keefe, embalming the objet d’art before the life has fled her. Fledgling tide of too much time: Too much time to talk, to unwind, to be unnoticed by the noticing of little minds, like your own, that has not the capacity for mortality; that has not the necessary number of rooms. Occupancy and square footage assume the house of your subtleties and leave the cat lapping at the window in importunate thirst. It is not enough that her scratchy tongue is a mockery of the word soothing, the sound of liquid; the drop falling into the abyss of relief with the sweet culmination of the cessation of pain. It is not enough that this is a portrait being painted by the plain ticking of a heart beating from beginning to finish imperturbably to the talk of its purpose. It is not enough that we are insatiable, alive to live, living to leave, leaving to bleed our lives onto the bed like a page not slept in but leaned into with the whole weight of hope and aspiration like a sigh not leaving the body but assuming flesh, shape, the necessity of a baby needing to be fed, held, rocked, held onto, wept over, won, resurrected with the recognition that you would die for her: She who is not me but who has swept up my need from me as recklessly as a tide colluding with a cove to hold water, as naturally as hair forming a downy halo on the head of a newborn. Me. Who are you? You have traumatized me, Life. You have taken my veins like strings and plucked Beethoven’s Ode to Joy from my anatomy like a composer wed to a chorus confined to my DNA and bones and marrow like a sparrow in amber caught in perpetual song. You are the arrow that pierces my whereabouts with wonder and teaches the thunder to tiptoe into my innermost secrets so it does not wake the baby I shall perpetually be, bleeding to god as my witness as a lamb on the altar that it is a choice, my choice: The choice I lead by clearing my throat of stars and calling my fleet of sky and unencumbered lesson that I unleash like one perfect note that does not break the glass, but allows it to tremble, held there perpetually: A tear not breaking, holding the world in its tension, portraying us all as we are in our infinitesimal, complex unity like a wish not blown out but believed in, eternally, uninterrupted, extended, at the edge of breath. Oh heaven, I accept you.