My daughter is singing about love, sweet and rich her voice, selling smoke that shouldn’t be there, wisdom she shouldn’t have. The sound lulls and growls and rounds the corners, surprising and seeping into the fabric here. The cool of night is settling in outside, candles burn at our table, all is good. For me, in this moment, all is good. If that were all that mattered then good would be the day and all the days after.
But there in the grey-blue-dark of dusk is a haunting, calm and quiet, calling to me. She is in Paris, in the streets and alleys of my hometown, in the fresh and salted waters that lap against the shores of every worthwhile nation. She slithers into the desert, stows among the stacks and stores of every city street, slick. She is on the radio and in my cottons, brushing against me, on the rails and books. The sand between the stones.
Still and tall the call to love, to be in and full of all of it, is urgent and constant and I am drawn, so drawn.
When Fire! Hot! Cold-hot fire burns and beckons, too. Why should you break my reverie? Damn you! I should let this fire burn you burn you and burn you again, to ashes, and then I should set fire upon your ashes for your sins.
And then how would your mother hear your voice? And how would the world know your sweetness? Can’t you speak softly to me and I to you in words our mother would smile about, not because one would be the true and the other not, but because she would feel joy over our brotherhood and the goodness with which we found one another?
I am lost in grief over your pain and the pain you cause. And still that voice resiliant and right calls to love and love again and again. Without it, surely all is lost.