My heart is ripped open again, I catch the drop of bloods in my cupped hands and gaze at them through mist-filled eyes. My blood, the blood of centuries.
It isn’t a leaving lover, it isn’t even the funeral of a dear friend I’m about to attend, it is deeper, more permanent than the bonds of this life untying themselves from me.
It is the stories, the echoes of stories that bring me to my knees, I go down every time before I know it, before I recognise the pain, when I am still singing victory standing on my chariot in full daylight, when in fact I’m sinking, my heart pulled out, showing me the inside of my mortality.
The stories are always about the war that returns, war is the permanence of every story that will hook itself in my flesh, the grimmest state of human contact. I cannot let go, I have to know, I have to dig and dig until I find what’s hidden under the scorched soil, my nails breaking, my knees grazed, at the edge of my despair. All I find is a bleeding heart, the most virgin state of all. It cannot heal for it would die
if it did. It pulsates with the clock of history, unearthing our human wreckage, the tears witness of our truest state.
We think in absolutes and embrace them.
Sometimes I do not bleed, I iron shirts, I break eggs in a bowl or I comb my hair without watching myself, just the hair, a thing remotely part of me, bloodless. I think I can manage being that person, going here and there and not feeling too affected by the stories. It seems to work out well, sometimes for weeks on end, I step through my day more certain I can do without a heart that bleeds. I manage life, keep it smooth and well tucked in like a shirt. I smile and fool myself, encouraging the semi order of things.
For my eyes don’t fall on the bare filigree branches of the birch tree silhouetted against the pastels of the evening sky, a plume of smoke from a chimney indicating warmth within, a flock of birds, black wings, swirling against the tender, outstretched colours, perfect in harmony, the only peace we know. I don’t see it, for I see objects, tasks, goals, useful relations, sleep, food. Life as a slight part of me.
When the stories come back, I have to look backwards, I look within, the sharp anguish when they take me apart. They force me to see everything, everywhere as the pulsating vein of life.
How I need the stories, but how they hurt.