Without light my cave was all touch and a little bit of sound, faint condensation drips
from my breath
the excrements I turned into art.
Without light to draw a world, perception finally becomes awareness:
fulfilment instead of distraction.
There was the stone and the moss and the lice, and after a time the surface of me you call
skin was, too, stone, moss, lice,
and also caress.
After a little more time
touch met with my undifferenciation
and I became sound. Yes, the heartbeat holds all of Africa, Bataka, the shuffling of Brazil’s feet, and Mozart’s violins. My body was a symphony and everything else the grazing of piano’s white keys against black.
In time, that faded too. I fed off of insects that tasted like rain. I would have given anything for rain. I remembered running in the rain, my hair heavy, my clothes heavy, my shoes squishing and the inside slippery. But my skin could no longer remember and it was a relief when those memories, too, faded.
For a while I still remembered him. Not the café-au-lait flavor of his morning kisses or the weight of his palm on my belly, but him–a presence, the uncanniness of being in the right place at the right time. He had given me that feeling.
The hardest to forget was my mother: she is in my bones, my first cave. She, whom I keep raveling and unraveling into. I am her fern,