Mudlark No. 40 (2010)

This Burning

I tried to do the same things every day for a week
without thinking about it, as though I could layer
myself across myself. Why not? It’s just a version
of how it all happens anyway, in the now
that everything inhabits, even the past
as we can understand it. This is a kind of weaving
or like building a stone wall without stones, and living
back there in the space made coherent by its border.
I moved through the days without variation.
I said the same things to the same people
who must have been moving the same ways themselves.
We did this until we had worn ourselves clean,
and then I think we vanished—although I’m not certain,
as I seem to be here with myself right now.
Even in your memories you are growing old.
Your thoughts are emerging fully-formed from your head.
If a man’s hands started suddenly burning, would you let him
embrace you? Your clothes would burst alive with flame, 
all the downy hair along your arms and legs,
your eyebrows and eyelids. And your private silences,
whatever they are now, would start burning too
as though they were made of some substance, something real
and necessary. Listen to me. All your nights and days.

Michael Hettich | Mudlark No. 40 (2010)
Contents | The Honey Bees