Bad news calls early, ringing urgently, getting her out of bed. She knows before she picks up the receiver (Really, she’s known all along. She is not a fool), but still it comes at her like a freight train as she listens to the voice on the other end of the line tell her a story, the kind of story she would read in the afternoon newspaper, the kind of story she would read and wonder about, puzzling out what had gone wrong in other people’s lives. Listening, she steadies her trembling hand by tracing a finger around a photograph on the dresser. Dust collects beneath her finger. Memory floods her carrying her back to the day she took the photograph, a happy moment preserved. She searches the face in the photograph, tracing the halo of hair like a blown dandelion and wonders what went wrong.
I am from a doodle in the margins of your high school history book, from the fine tip of a yellow Ticonderoga with the keen imagination of a jester.
I am from the chaos of clothes on your bedroom floor whirling like a dervish in layers of purple silk, smooth and decadent.
I am from the lotus blossom floating in a pond, the honey flower delicate on the breeze.
I am from a ship of fools tossed in a wild ocean and wander lust’s passion unleashed. I am from beyond the glass green sea, maddened by drink and Helene’s great beauty while cursed by Paris’s great lust.
I am from the illustrious and incandescent.
From more than all the stars in the night sky and grains of sand on a beach I come to you.
I am from the saintly and devout, ceremonial and pagan.
I’m from across the seas, tea steeped, dark amber, sweetened and creamed.
From the chronicles of Davy Jones locker, with Poseidon in the cast, decisions were made, decks were swabbed and Snuffy made queen for a day and made king of the chain locker for life.
I am from boxes burned, idols stored, and treasures scorned. I am the Saint Christopher buried in your right pocket. I am the winged dimes upon your eyelids opening the gates of heaven.