Finding Momentum




If you lean too hard, you’ll go tumbling out of shadows, into the lake. Look, like how the leaves strain against their cuffs in the wind, leaning into the goldenrod breeze. Look at the lovers lean into each other, racing against sundown, lips brushing freckles, freckles brushing blades tickling toes.

Reading the skies

Soon comes spring; and children will sigh in the rhododendron light. Forty days, the land groaned under the burden of frost and dust. I think to myself that were we to drink the ashen calendar days, we could not bear the surprise of heart-sick laughter, the lightness best experienced with others; a choked-up kind of glee that pounces suddenly without explanation. Does a bird think to itself, thankgodi’malivethankgodi’malive? I have a suspicion the children know; they have watched and waited for the light. Soon we, too, shall awaken.

Watch us, protect us

We’re all holding hands on the street. Bear on my left, a stocky, grizzled Filipino dude wearing a hard expression under squinting eyes. Pancho on my right, a wiry black man with a thin face and a black “OAKLAND” beanie with big, gothic lettering. Cece is between the men, finishing a prayer: “And keep us alllll”–she draws out the word in her Native-American accent–“safe from the Devil!”

Gospel, knifepoint

At about 10AM this morning in the middle of Albert’s sermon, Mrs. Hu bursts into the sanctuary and I hear a flurry of hurried murmuring behind me and the flutter of a hundred heads turning. “Someone call 911!”