Sunday, May 5, 2019

Gift Planet by Brenda Shaughnessy

Gift Planet

My six-year-old said “I don’t know time.” She already knows it’s unknowable. Let it be always a stranger she walks wide around.

I fantasize about outer space as if I have some relation to it besides being an animal in its zoo. No visitors. No matter how far I travel on earth I wind up sitting in rooms.

Wind up running all over towns and streets the same. Then get hungry as anywhere, again. Going anyplace, I think: I never want to go home and I can’t wait to be home.

All travelling’s a way to imagine having a home to leave or return to.

The shame of never leaving home. The anguish of no home. Changing house keys on the unchanged ring. The ring is the home, the thing inside trees.

Claiming a tree “mine.”

Car feels like a pod, an exoskeleton, a place inside me. Car short for “carapace.”

I blame the weather, blame myself if the weather is “nice.” Tell myself the weather ruined my plans, though it’s me ruined the weather’s.

Plan: like plane like plain like pain/pane. Like planet. Plan acting like an overlay on everything most elemental. Trying to make everything go according to it—feelings, food, flight, ordinariness, the very earth.

Stop already. Stop as if you can. As if you can breathe back in your own baby, your two, your three. Breathe out all the ones you never had. Breathe in one two three. Breathe out all the others.

I don’t want to be cremated. I want to be part of earth. Space may be my original home but I only remember here.

I cling to this life. I’ve taped myself to it like a card on a gift. Happy birthday! Many happy returns and hope it’s lots of fun! We miss you! Love, Me.

A gift is always an exchange of energy. Like water boiling, like photosynthesis. Inside the box is a water pitcher and a picture of us together as we were when the photo was taken.

Now it’s given. It’s only a copy, but the original was a moment and was burned up, caloric.

Simone says before bed, “I’m imagining a strawberry automatically drawn. I dream so much when I’m awake.”

When I learned to tell time I told it. I told it so; I stopped listening to what it tried to tell me: You’re already losing everything as you go and go and go.

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