Notes Toward A
by Sara Greenslit

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An entire forest of longing, an entire coast
 
You have cells sloughing off you everyday, an eyelash in your tea, long tendrils of hair down the bathtub drain
 
No, close your eyes.  It’s better to keep out the blurring and the racing, the fear of losing, of loss, of lost.  The tide is high and it’s roaring.
 
I am watching the minutes and they are not a speeding train.  My heart elongates flat and thin as a rail-roaded dime.  Anxiety like fiber optics faxing and refaxing.  Sheer light, sheared.  There is no sitting still.  Green.  Go.
 
Stapling, coughing, paper shuffling, metal door opening and shutting, swivel chairs on plastic mats—hum of fluorescent lights, of computers, ears ringing, eyes exhausted with screen fatigue, hands on keyboards, down, up, return.  Someone walking down the hall jingles change in his pocket.  The women here never whistle.  They laugh.  Here the clock is no friend.  The copier creaks each time its lid is lifted––
 
You add up your nothingnesses and they multiply in front of you, splay like a deck of cards—your turn, what do you have?
 
Daydream as sport, as easy languish—ease me through a valley of continual boredom––
 
You will have plenty of time to rehash your flaws, your flailings.  You will not be more or less for what you might or might not figure out/unravel.
 
This dream is azure and filigree.  This dream is a mahogany piano playing Rachmaninov.
 
Double deja vous: remembered, yet slightly altered, not abridged, but accompanied by another layer, like painting a door another color (because a brown door can swallow a whole room up), one right on top of the other, and when chipped, you see all the years of hues below.
 
A ruby-throated hummingbird heart beats 1,220 beats per minute while in flight.  And it eats its weight in nectar each day—three grams, or 1/8th an ounce.
 
Loosening and shifting, gravel underfoot.
 
What is this but a de-selection, a loss of acceleration, of choice?  The least amount of will, keeping time with others’ requests.  It’s immeasurable, the selfish vs. the selfless.  A horse whinnies in the background, no an ambulance, no a baby, no a car’s squeaky belts.  You can’t name all of them, the curses and the gifts, combined, the together and the apart—hand out for a taxi, hand out for your hand.
 
I can’t quite put the pictures away—they unroll pasts that make me flinch because they are unknown yet also mine.
 
A chickadee fee-bee  insists on singing through morning rush hour, a noon tornado siren, a street full of rumbling city trucks.
 
Our paths worn, to and fro, like the children’s book with the rowing crow—to and fro, wings on the oars, starless night, splash and creak, shore ahead, the tendril of morning, rest ahead.
 
Give me your hand through this brutal forest.
 
Sounds palpable in the mouth
 
Treatise of bee, and songs for the crepuscular
 
The temperament of Now
 
Barred owls                            who cooks for you?
Rufus-sided towhee               drink your tea
Great horned owl              who’s awake? me too
Song sparrow                      maids maids maids, put on your tea kettle ettle ettle
Red-eyed vireo              here I am, where are you?
Ovenbird                            teacher teacher teacher
 
What was it that shimmered by in the night, rousing a dog to bark, alert to trespass and passing?