Carolyn Zaikowski: A Beginning

Spring '11 TOC

Here is an opposite way to tell the story that actually isn't mine:

First of all, I might not be telling you everything. Secondly, this could be an accident. But I am happy. All is well. Everything around me bursts with life and hope, like an eternal field full of god's tallest and most well-behaved sunflowers. Everything is white, yellow and orange—in fact, those are the only colors my eyes know how to see. A child swimming deep in my heart-water giggles with excitement on Christmas Eve. She eats too many potato chips, but the excitement counteracts any feeling of oily vomit forming in her stomach. The Christmas tree is majestic and never reminds me of pain.

You are a precious gift; your patterns are remarkable, defiant; you are not bent on definition, you who moves and plays, you who does not try to gain ownership over your various volcanic positions, your lava, your flow to the ocean, your sand. You, my concise mountain, are free. We float through the most intimate kind of universe, fucking everything with our best selves, and you hold me at the blur. You take me right into the explosion of the container. We are positive that we know the name of the flux. My hands smell like your spit and skin; fingers are pointed downwards in an arch. The words are in front of you, in the air; you use my hands to touch them. I allow you to take them on a picnic at the top of a mountain. I want you to be that oddest number; be its meal. You are weather. You are entire atmospheres; you are a complete algebra. I had to be the person who believed you because there was no one else available.


Dream—You are bleeding; I am happy. You will never again negate my existence. You'll stop eating hamburgers. Dream—I don't dare touch your soft chin. Dream—I own a map that takes me everywhere I ever need to go on every layer. Dream—I have never thrown my hair over the balcony for you. Dream—there are no tall students in white coats taking notes on how I cry. Dream—I don't remember your tie. I don't remember when we roller-skated over the geraniums. I wasn't even alive in the 1950s! I don't remember the famous diplomat's wedding or the crack in the wall where you thought god might be living. I've never even met anybody famous. I don't remember the toaster oven exploding. At least, I don't think I remember that. I know I don't remember you.

Life doesn't just have the potential to be a lullaby; it is already one. I sleep and I dream.

Listen, okay, I never do anything that is a secret; I don't even have benign secrets. I am your most open realm. I remember the past as if it's a completely level plane. You are the wall, not the cracks in the wall. You are glue—you never break, you only put together. You aren't in a casket; you are with me, dancing; together we're safe, far beyond pulses. All this being said, I still don't think it's okay that the seventh dimension makes no sense. In fact, it freaks me the fuck out. It makes me want to crawl into a hole and puke on the cutest, smallest bunny rabbit I can find.

Here's a theory: I'm good enough. You love me.

Alright, this time's real, it's the best math I have:

She points to the mirror and tells me to look for the Buddha's eyes. Instead I look at you. I tell you you're god's face but you don't believe me. I don't believe you when you say anything about my face either. I don't want to reconcile all the different ways in which I want to love, but the world doesn't like it when people love without formulas, so maybe it'd be easier to just forget about you. To go to a place where your thunderstorm will never make it to my air. Where I will be so cold that I'll turn to silver. I know you; if I don't let this go, you will start to engage in one of your infamous campaigns of self-control. They'll call your name over the intercom when it is time to die. "You You YOU." The book I recommended will make you cry. It'll make you think of the people you've lost, especially the next time you crane your neck to look for a plane or branch. I knew all this when I told you about the book, but I did not want you to be afraid. I know you—you are not a torn flower or a mutilated soldier. You are a bookcase. An upright piano, perfectly wooden.

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Not Enough Night
Not Enough Night
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