This itch, this cloying dry mouth, I relinquish my need for water and say it may rest there. What lies at the bottom of the dark. Jan Clausen’s poem, “Waking at the bottom of the dark”–how she described the deepest deep of a northwest winter, how we get to experience the very bottom of the year. Without a parade of mercy, just the raw facts of it: dark defined as absence of light, which is really sort of a slanted position to begin with, like Freud and his diagnosis of penis envy. We all know from the outset what’s preferred, privileged, what’s given highest value. But I say this narrow prescription of generalized preference, it may rest there: a cancerous mole, one I watch with wonder and fascination, one I slyly coax into showing me its colors, not letting on that in so doing, it’s revealing its pendulous and precarious existence. Showing me its weaknesses. For under the radiation/radiance of my synesthesia, its weakness is uncovered.
What I mean to say is, what if light was defined as absence of dark? An ugly crispness, without shadow, false cheer, shellac and ambrosia, the myth of panacea. What if the dark pockets of worm-soil were the riches we craved, our skin longing for mud, clay beneath our breath blooming into vessels for the outpouring–the dark in which our roots can fully flex, unscorched by the sun, delicate in their curlings.
It may rest there, the dark. I will not nudge or force it into tight tubes of fluorescence. I will sit patiently, wrapped in the trunk of the tree, noting the glow of down-flowing sap, lapping up the sticky, knowing light is tricky in its lack of dense fluidity. Yes, it may rest there. Even these mythologies, winged beasts, gods with names like hammers and fists–the crystal mountain is a lie. It’s the cake of rings around my toes that give evidence of the living. The grime and muck cut with the razor roads of tears.