Lying in my bed, tucking myself in, i turn my blankets in the right direction—oh how i toss them about when i sleep. My top blanket is thin but heavy, maybe woolen? Blue. With a cat design. Cat stands by the pond, looking at his reflection. The blanket is sideways. Turn the blanket cat-up, and i am the cat; the other, i am the reflection. Which am i tonight?
tonight i am the reflection
turn the blanket, lie down... let it happen. Let me sleep. When i see the world, the world sees me. When i see myself, i see great clutter: a million objects strewn about the covers, an impossible mess bearing down, the waves of the turbid river reflecting every which way. When i see myself, i see that i am clear as the surface of the pond on a still moonless night; i am blank and smooth and hard and without form, without anything but flat. These images are there bothatonce, right there in my middle vision, mocking me. I hear screaming like ducks, all muffled. It is dinner, it is late and lit with the yellowish glow of incandescent lamps, it is winter and cozy. I hear—there he is—my dad, i hear everyone, all at once, muffled and droning, mocking me. please shut up, i have seen enough
tonight i am the cat
turn the blanket, lie down... i stick my hand into the water and i play with myself, just like every night. I stick my hand in the world and I play with it, just like every day. I dash out onto the playground, and it is joy. I stick my tongue out and i say "hello, how are you?" fifteen different ways. I stick my hand in school and i play with it: A+ C- i love it i hate it can i learn something else now? I stick you in my bed and play with you, all of you at once, just for tonight. I stick my hand in my bed and i claw it apart; foam flies everywhere and coats my stairs and it is beautiful do you want to see? I stick my hand on the popcorn popper and the cell phone, you fly at the pavement and dance across the intersection and i do not scream but it is beautiful do you want to see? I stick my hand in it all and i play with it and move on to the next. I stick my hand in New York, in e2, in the darkroom, in the bicycle, in food, in Minnesota, in my life—it is all a toy. But i stick my hand in love and my claws grab on tight; there is nothing below me and i hang on, i try not to fall.
tonight i am the water
turn the blanket, lie down... flow onto the bed; flow into my life. I cannot be contained, i flow everywhere. Some rivers flow smoothly, but mine is strewn with rocks. You stick your hand in me and throw me about and i splash in a million different drops; i am weak. I gush forth in a torrent and wear you down until there is nothing left; i am strong, and i am blind. She is gone and i melt alone across my bed; i am cold and still and always the same. the riverbed is far below the surface and i love slowly. I find a long brown hair and i remember and melt out through my eyes.
tonight i am a reed by the pond
turn the blanket, lie down... i am in the bed and i am the bed; the wind blows and we rock. All the reeds gathered around the pond, i look at you and i love you. We sway here and there and about in the wind, grazing each other and sighing and buzzing in a lazy springtime chatter. We are planted around our lakes and lagoons, but we are all reeds and we dream of our one pond together but our roots are planted in the ground and the pond we imagine is still dry (but all we need is a trowel and some water.) I look around at you and you are beautiful and you are beautiful and you are beautiful. What can a reed do but sway about and love? When a great weight comes, i am crushed so easily i become powder. The wind gusts and i rock with my bed among the stars and it all fades into quiet until the sun returns to bake me yet again.