A sea bell chimes into your dreams. West wind invades the night, weaving tapestries of war and grief. On one side of the street, a line of soldiers; on the other, stand their grandmothers holding mirrors, guarding boys with stones in their hands.
The fathers have strapped themselves into burned-out metal cages and do not want to watch. They lift steaming cups to their lips. They pretend to speak to one another through echoing walls. Icicles form on the edges of their cages; they roar in mock triumph.
Missing are the mothers, who have been chasing after not-enough in a desert, running toward a mirage in the sinking sands.
A woman is kneeling in the garden, moaning in pain. She bows in all four directions to the earth. When she walks away, the ground is wet with her blood. How can there be so much blood in one woman, the garden sighs its question. The seeds are crying. There is not enough rain, or too much this year.
There is a boy they could call a man of god: he has no father, he has no mother. Alyosha lives above a courtyard, watching his parents come and go through a window. He walks out into the daylight, but they fail to recognize him. He becomes transparent and steps into a cloud, holding a rose. Wind-mothers bear him where he wants to go.
You wake early and reach for your wallet. No one has stolen it yet today, but your heart is racing and you are in a hurry to begin working, just in case. More, more, you must do more. You are the mother-father and there are no understudies. Children rush to school and study how to avoid gang-fights. If they are lucky, they find a hallway marked: here is a place to learn.
You fall into a doze and there is the wind again, wrapping you in a cloak of comfort. Shhh. Alyosha, you find yourself crying out, I am sorry, if only I had been able. Shhh, says Alyosha, touching your heart with his burning rose. I know. And the wind leaves you a scarf, fragrant with this incense. You lift your head once more, and return to your task, breathing a message the wind-mothers have brought you from the trees.
A dreamless sleep falls from the shimmering leaves. --Sappho fragment, tr. Andrew Bellon I changed, thickened, ...
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