Swallows, giants and hope
by You Have My Word
Swallows scatter across the ocean’s ceiling at the golden time of almost-night tempting the dark to snatch them in its jaws.
Down below I am walking the streets of this sunrise city where sons rise and I stop to listen for the roar of smuggled drugs to muffle the sound of hungry stomachs, but instead daughters come alive to satisfy the night-time appetites.
We are, none of us, immortal. We are, none of us, alone as we stand beneath the tar pit sky. When did we become so preoccupied with wiping our tears that we’ve forgotten our fingers were made for so much more than freeing pills from packets or picking scabs from scars. I’m shooting up on the road side now so I can hand-deliver hand-written letters to shooting stars. I will write my wishes through telephone-wire veins; I will speak of needs and needles. I will unwrap my unconscious pylon pains that connect each of us to the next.
We are so busy grieving we’ve forgotten what breathing sounds like – what the touch of silk air feels like in our lungs and in our throats because our hands are strangling our sadness. We’re so separate in our togetherness we’re near grateful for abandoned babies that crowd our front-doorsteps, because without them we’d be, all of us, an our own.
But I will hope.
On the shoulders of giants I will ride. I will reach. I am out on a limb and I hope I do not cripple others if I crash as I reach out. I am breathless, waiting. I am all of me waiting for the next sunrise to wake and make mistakes again. I am waiting for the relinquishing of rage and for the seconds to finish counting our age. Tick, tock, waiting. Tick, tock, waiting. I am waiting. Wanting. Wishing.
But do not confuse wishing with hope. Hope lives long after death. Hope is written into tombstones even – the scrawlings of who you were, who you are in our hearts. Hope is the widow that places fresh flowers atop your rotting corpse each morning before the city starts to breath. Hope is the moon over a dead city after the dust has settled to sleep.
Hope is a band aid. Hope is lights out for inmates. Hope is birth. Hope is art. Hope is song. Hope is word. Hope is deed. Hope is like an annoying, uncontrollable weed taking over everything else you’ve put in the ground for the earth to feed.
Hope is trudging to the summit of a mountain top. Hope is freedom. Hope is two lovers, mouth-to-mouth resuscitating what they can out of the love that they’ve lost. Hope is a hug when it hurts to hold yourself up. Hope speaks of the hearing and the here and now and the how and the helpless into helping hoping hands. And maybe that’s heaven.
We are, all of us, human; we are, all of us, hopeful. And maybe that’s the same thing. So speak the secrets that leak from your eyes. Suck strength in from sternum and spine, into spirit and soul. The stars are listening.