AFTER THE FLOOD.


i live on an island made of ice. 


here it is so, so silent that there's a background of terrible, steady screams, a loudness only silence can master. it's not the thin layered kind of ice, thin on the top, with easy cracks and freezing water underneath, the whitish top coat that tries to be cloudless, the colors that want to be invisible. no, we're solid, all through. 
it has veins you know, ice does, thin and bloodless and clean. speaking though of invisible colors, our heart is around here somewhere, we're sure, see, because of all these veins.
this island was born for me and i for it and i am slowly learning that this will somehow be it's own kind of okay, has to, sometime soon.

to get here, you adventurer, you must be capable of this almost impossible innate ability to exhibit underwater flight, you''ll travel like this for a leap-of-faith-type dull distance until you reach a solid, frosted surface. this is how you'll know you've found us.
we might give you socks and rain boots and mittens, a simple courtesy, if we really like your voice and your hands, you might say "aw-thank-ya-so-much" and you'll smile. we'll ask you, darling, if you decide to wander could you keep your heart on the lookout for ours?!  you'll close your eyes, maybe you'll nod, yeah you should definitely nod. nod, okay? so yes, it is a very large heart shaped almost like a fist. it's not cold like our ice, but void of temperature, the veins connected to the surface your boots are walking all over. when the air is very still we can hear a certain sort of secular beat-beating that leads us to believe the assumingly ghostly hand-fisted hearts scattered iced inky veins are connected to just everything, ever
and that when found its veins will lead to a catacomb only a heart would crawl into.
 

we won't, can't, promise that you won't find anything monster-like. they tend to lurk quiet and change forms like those awful reoccurring nightmares. we don't tell you this, but as we watch the curves of your upper arms we decide that you can handle anything. we'll probably tell you stories, we're known for making up words to make any expressed literary emotion really, really emote, that there which is guiding you. and if, you observer, you ask about the truths or falses of our stories we'll watch you carefully without uttering a word. it's likely this is where novelists and the clever poets coined the phrase "icy glaze" -- here we reside and survive, its folded, ready in our sweater pockets, the gaze.
it's then, love, that you should press the side of your face against us, use up all your god damn will power to deny the loud buzz of the chill breathing you in, touch here. this here, is where you could put your hands on our back, each finger poetically pressing, each tip sentimental. if you wanted you could say something quiet, anything you were not too cold to say, because dear, we can hear deeper than anything else, all the fucking way down and maybe, you beauty, you'll taste something delicious in those grey-white plumes of visible breath reaching out of your mouth, searching, that will change everything you thought you knew. especially about us. especially  about islands and hearts that go AWOL. everything you thought you knew about everyone, ever.  we'll detail the subjects that people much farther than the island and i tend to avoid, vehemently. because look, what doesn't an island of ice with a no-show heart not know about solitude? about strangers? derangement? nothing. our knowledge of it is endless and cold and unstoppable. you hesitate and argue with me, somehow pouting your eyes, but just try and get under or inside with just your hands, cozily mittened or just bare, and good luck, you saint.

look, you vagabond, sit down, i'll make some tea and we'll talk or hum and you could stay here always, you should even, but i don't tell you that. we can already hear our missing heart distantly calling as you sit here with us, on us, your booted feet just now adjusting to what each step on a supposedly heartless island of ice entails, but i don't tell you that either. sometimes you lose your balance and you slip fast, your arms out like airplane wings, dipping in and up against the darkest ever permanent-marker-black-sky. you laugh, i watch the corners of your lips crawl up and a smoky cloud of cold air exhale past your bumpy, gorgeous teeth. the ice has quieted. my mouth doesn't open at all while my mind is pot-belly full of all the wrong doors to ever open but you just look incredible. we think you just look god damn perfect. but heroes?! but those? even if my brain spins way smarter than that i still involuntarily pulled the hi-stranger-smile when you got here and you're still here, wearing my mittens and holding my homemade mug of chamomile tea really close to your face and even though i keep trying i can't find the word "melt" in my mental memory of my entire life so far until right now, this very second, here and on fire.





2 comments:

Alexandra said...

I don't know how to praise you for this piece of writing, it's beyond me. You are such an amazing writer. Such an inspiration.

"it has veins you know, ice does, thin and bloodless and clean."

KERRY said...

this means an incredible amount , thank you endlessly.