The sun shines more than I care for and the rays trickle their way in through closed eyelids, prying open with golden pitchforks, made no less painful by the sheen, if any even more so. It is unwise to expect anything else since I lie on my back on soft cloud cushions and the sun hovers directly above me like a lover whose fiercely amorous endeavours exhaust me. My eyes flutter close even when the whites turn yellow (gold of the pitchforks) then tints crimson.
He once held me in his arms like this, he whirled me around and I floated weightless just like this, the sun shining in my eyes, his hands protecting me from every harm. Strengthened by the knowledge that I will not fall, I floated in love.
If I close my eyes I feel only the swishes of air that dance in whirlwinds around me. The breeze riffles through my hair and billows in my clothes, if I were under water this is what I would feel. The sun would then be a distant rippling light and fish would eat my eyes. The breeze tunnels its way into me and sets home in my lungs. I float in the soft deceptive hands of the wind.
I turn my head and see life, people, life life life. People struggling to carry the burden of life. A month old boy swaddled in white and held close to his mother’s bosom. It is the comfort of those heartbeats that he will seek in every woman who draws his head close to her breasts. Mamma Mamma he cries and his tongue will be pulled out by the calloused hands of ridicule. He will learn to cry silently. He will learn to live without those heartbeats that let him float in love.
Unlikely friends. Their ice cold fingers soothe the demons that dance on my forehead. Nightmares can wait awhile, let my tears soak their palms first. The faces stay below as I float up, the dark ink cloud of a giant squid clouds their faces with my fears.
A little boy reaches out to grab the sparkle on my nose. His chubby fingers and toothless smiles jolt through me and I shudder as I fall as I float as I fall.
If I turn I will see the flagstones, the tiny cracks between them, the glint and glaze of granite, who was the miner who touched these stones awake? On either side are windows, rows and rows of windows as far as I can see.
Life beautiful life ugly life apathetic disgusting putrid stench of what looks like oleander and tuberoses. Life ugly life beautiful life the lightness of the heart and the joy that leaps unbidden in the wounds that mar the body.
Flagstones turn to water and my face is serene in the reflection, narcissistic I cannot take my eyes off and they remain open even as my body slices through the water and the hands that let me float pull me down frantically with an urgency that ruptures the lovely breezes trapped in my lungs.
The serpent rears its head from somewhere deep down below and cruises to the surface barely disturbing the water, its movement is smooth and fluid, its sinuous body covered with scales and a single row of sharp white crystals stretch along the length of its spine. Its deltoid head bursts out of the water and in its upward path it traverses all that I have seen and so it knows me it becomes me. Dark head with forked tongue and ruddy eyes. The tongue licks the flames of the sun and brings them back to me in one swift fluid motion the serpent coils around my body that has forgotten how to fight. My eyes remain open as the fearsome eyes scan my face and the repugnant jaws drool viscous.
In the grip of the serpent I sink I float I sink as I float eternally.