Restless Flying / Primal Wound / Jonathan Clark with Nancy Verrier

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Untitled. Fused silk. Photograph by Kevin Ryan.
Courtesy of the Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick Foundation.

Dear reader, dear companion, dear friend,

Do you believe the page can shrink the distance between you and I,
bringing us closer to closeness,
nearer to a proximity between our disparate histories?
To admit to oneself that you have become obsessed is just the beginning,
consumed by the origins from which your many insecurities derive.
What follows is that unshakable feeling of foreignness to the world and the world to you.
What does searching for both a doppelganger and stranger even look like? –
like looking for mother every day.
In our digital world, everyone at the very least leaves a partial footprint,
except for mother.
Mother – when have I never been at your mercy?
Being that mother’s body brought you into the world,
you would think her face more familiar than a stranger’s fading into a city street during rush hour, that as small as our world can be,
we would have had an encounter like an asteroid towards earth.
You know mother’s face from only a photo,
a creature wearing every carved curve in your face. Staring into the camera,
she’s got those kinds of eyes that stir something in you without her knowing her eyes are doing that thing.
Another gaze into mother and you wish you didn’t also understand how the body bears the burden of burying so many secrets,
and to your lovers who tend to ask of you more than you can give,
the cloud of mystery that enshrouds you is a result of being born a secret too.
Being wanted by someone never replaces being unwanted by the one that should want you most. All you want is for mother to creep nearer than her ghost.
Could this be reason enough for your stints with nicotine? –
anything to taste some residue from those Marlboros mother couldn’t stop
as you buoyed in the womb.
Dear reader, dear companion, dear friend,
what biological demons do you involuntarily share?
Talk about free-will all you want but if a habit is part of your blood,
at what point did you ever have a choice?
Since discovering mother’s veins carry an O-blood type, she could save anyone
in the world, so why didn’t she save you?
Every morning you wonder does mother mourn how you mourn for her,
in the mirror, before the blush & lipstick,
when the body is stripped to flesh of its garments, to bone and bruise.
Take notice how a bruise pairs with a bruise
as practice for commiserating in the company of, then tell me
you’ve found a way to solve longing, when longing can only subside
into more longing.
Why hasn’t anyone told you that wanting
closure is just another way of asking the past to remain unresolved?
Why do our mouths offer only what’s forbidden –
always doing ourselves a disservice by making promises,
of which the shards we cup like cremation in our palms.

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This is part of the cluster Restless Flying. Read the other posts here.

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