There were Intersecting Lines


The water in a bowl of enamel is cold; water from lakes shallow and stoned.               I stare at the mirror, the face you have grown to love and the first time you said     I love you      I felt important and I was connected. We were sitting face to face and I was crying. We were so grown up at seventeen. I thought I knew what it meant to be a woman. How could I know there were intersecting lines like

monarch butterflies use the earth’s magnetic field for orientation             over                     how are you, have you been sleeping?                                                                                    (has anyone?)

How could I understand the weight of being a woman. The stones it has cost. I am complacent. I have not left the same spot for hours and the sun moves from rising to falling and do you remember, the thunder of the deer the way the moon broke like an egg over the lake at night the weight of the sky with stars the water that was otherwise black but softened by tiny ripples it gave me so much panic in my stomach I hardly spoke to you but I loved it too but I felt okay when I thought about it when I realized nature is never so quiet so still

and did you know the flight pattern of monarchs is inherited based on a combination of where the sun falls in the sky and a sun-compass; their circadian rhythms. No, me either but you don’t want to remember. There is the concern, your voice stuck between two cold palms on my cheeks and there is

Your face is so pale maybe you should lie down               over          in hibernation hungry birds searching for monarchs with the least amount of poison kill those they reject

I am lying down I have been lying down for years now and is it true we cannot be held responsible for being so complicated? We are soft our love is quiet in the water you can watch the ripples turn back in on themselves making the smallest sound and no I am not hungry but yes you can hold me       at least there is that

It’s about where we are going and where are we going           over                   the low riverbeds  we walked through and the slow gait of a bull moose in the reeds

Monarchs are the only insects to make cross-ocean migrations but they almost always die on the journey home and then there is the frost that came early this year that will lead to starvation and so we will not starve yet but we will starve, nothing in nature is so quiet and nothing in nature is still and did you know when we burn fossil fuels we are burning ancient sunlight

and did you know it is the magnetic fields of the earth which protect us from a cosmic wind of the sun.

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