An inscription on the photo said the heart is a portal Some pick melody as the way through some dance as if on fire and others write lines to travel time he was sight traveling preparing to transition dancing with the moon traversing the stars come on in here and sit with me awhile girl we won’t be blue always time’s a rampant melody full of stops and starts and then it’s as constant as the rain child you are your mama’s daughter you keep that old indigo cloth for dreaming just because you can’t see them don’t mean they ain’t here and she heard him playing the piano when she woke up heard him singing You know mercy will redeem us and love will surely find away You know mercy will redeem us and love will surely find away cause joy can ease a troubled mind and the blues can’t dog all our days turn your lamp on baby and let it shine on through the night turn your lamp on baby and let it shine on through He was calling on the saints Calling on the ancestors to bless them and in her dreams she heard Otis Redding sing “ a change gonna come” Her man playing scales picking up and putting down then he’d back up and start again his lopsided grin touched her heart his head thrown back he was traveling in deep water try and track a ghost whose memories are his only currency sometimes fevers in the blood and an old riff will just edge you a little further out to sea He switched hands as his fingers glided over the keys the music chasing him and she smiled and half whispered half sung she knew the way the song would end How’d she get all tangled up in its melody hearing the breaks before his fingers ever touched the keys they were a chorus becoming a choir a firestorm If she got lost in one of those memories that wrings tears from a heart will he find her and bring her home they stand on uneven ground on a hillside in a graveyard she’s only heard about funny how dreams stretch time causing the world to tilt and she’s standing in the doorway swaying rubbing her belly humming talking to the baby inside thinking about portals and her mother thinking about cycles and women and her man is traveling lost on the night train caught in the space between and he sings out her name and she smiles fire almost breaking out between them like electricity you can see She feels the weight of time sees the lines around his eyes feels his comfort knowing they will be more than two they will be a family her heart quickens a baby’s coming a child oh my my my my she just stands there watching and he plays and plays drawing out those notes she almost drowns in his voice as he sings her name she hums deep and lets it roll through her body travels with it listens to her heart feelings can heal she’s moaning and humming all caught up in it and his song just pushes on through an echo of love a surge of power something raw and pure and he sings her name and she’s touching air traveling through time to stand at his side
“In the beginning was the word and I’ve drawn on it, to map the internal terrain and make sense of the external world, to investigate life and death, traversing a language that leaves me spellbound.” Gail Mitchell is a poet living in San Francisco. the author of Bone Songs; She received her BA and MFA from San Francisco State University.
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