WINTER 2013 (Issue 77)
 

Meghan Privitello

Elemental

In the desert, I learned grief is not as loud as two planes crashing. I ache to become a tree or a pillar of light, a place where the living hang their grievings like wedding gowns. I bury myself in the ground. This is the laymen’s word for death, the magician’s word for how to make birds appear. If I knew what it meant to devote myself to your body, I would wear blue robes, my thumbs would know you as a string of holy beads. Men imagine experiments that will prove the impotence of fire. I imagine experiments that will prove the importance of never opening your eyes in front of those you cannot love. This is the origin of blindness. This is sleep’s dark rescue. When I flew to another country not knowing how to say I want you, always in any language, I drew pictures of seeds and soil, of god and the sky, to prove we belong in each other’s places. People fly across oceans to prove their willingness to become a piece of any anonymous wreckage. This is the new kind of belonging, the way we always wanted to be held. I have a name. It is Blaze. It is Pyre. In the morning, when the sun rips your face into a column of boredom and a column of fate, you press the two sides of yourself between the pages of a useless book. If a stranger of the future opens to the right page, he will learn that the world was once a multiple choice test, that happiness was a matter of choosing the correct version of A) If our bodies collided and made fire B) If we made fire into a quiet grief C) If a quiet grief was something we could love D) If we could love what we do not burn.

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