All the Planted Things

I’d like to know what’s happened. What went across everyone’s mind when they looked out of their windows, out their doors and let the sun in. Was it anything? If memory serves me, one either holds or hides from what’s outside of them. People have their ways and the ways tend to occur in clusters so that they may be bunched into conclusions, spoken with a particular manner-of-factness to signify that we all have a grip on the way of things.

You can also ride the line of uncertainty if the facts get too hard. Speak always with your tongue pressed to your jaw to hold your words back, second-guessing and vulnerable. Because, because, because. Do you remember? In either case, I see you as more credible now because you called attention to the inconclusiveness of things by saying so little. The rest of us don’t know how to shower thoughtless, or least we find that our windows were too difficult to open at all, or too wide to shut.

My friend, if you never wanted to see the sun in the first place, you had to run farther away. Didn’t you know this? You couldn’t just hop an ocean and hope for more hours of darkness. You had to run away with feeling and purpose and grit so that people might chase after you without nearing you at all. That’s the only way you could have left for good. Now you’re just stuck between ribs somewhere, not sure what to do with yourself. I know this because of sleep. Dreams are lightless, a fact I find astonishing.

I do need to ask—when we turned over our mattresses, stuck knives into their springs and buried soil inside, were you aware of how deep we went? I ask this because you don’t have answers, and I like when things get tough; tough like the way we each trailed ourselves across the globe with a taste for metal, ruthless. This, at least, could be our common point. I still see you sometimes when I’m on a subway, looking out the window through all of the language written in scratches, through the lines and strange turn-around points of all the messages I can’t understand. Often you’re by windows, too, waiting. The difference, though, is that you’ve already returned some time ago and I’m afraid to. I think of all the years people have aged and how much they’ve accomplished by inverting themselves and being proud of it. You were always humbler, hidden in your changing, resisting being linked to anything like you in order to solve the hardship of being alone.

Do you think that mattress has sprouted yet? That’ll be my first stop after I’m back. I want to see what’s become of our attempts. Then I’ll return to our dwelling, make my way into the kitchen and open the oven to see if that’s where our taste for light got lost. If it’s not in there, I’ll sleep easily. Maybe nothing is worth missing. Maybe common behaviors are just bits of evidence that our brains make connections, seek patterns. I don’t want to believe that this is unfair, so I’ll throw you into a category along with all the others who refused to open their windows when they saw the sun. I’ll clench my teeth as I do, dear friend, if you’re with me.