Friday, February 17, 2006


It is the lime green light over the aloe plant in the basement that keeps it alive as there is not snow outside quite yet. My six week old daughter cries inside her bassinet as a matter of course, as a matter of breathing, hik hik, and I am waiting for her to sleep. I insist that I am not a monster. I pick her up and hold her to me to quiet her breathing. Then put her back in. She ramps it back up, over ten minutes, and though I am patient, she becomes a thing again, a shrieking animal with a mouth. A thing that my will, as I am an only animal, only wants to quiet. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses there is a king who goes mad and swings his infant, head first, against a wall. There was a goddess who caused this for purposes that I don’t care if I ever remember. I am no king and I recognize no god’s will against me. A king wouldn’t know his child well enough to play Johnny Cash singing “Darling Companion” and sing backup to June, dancing with her in his arms. Dancing forever with her in his arms. And no matter what happens, today or tomorrow, no god could ever interfere with a man singing, no matter how suffering, beside those two, forever singing below the steps of the Appalachians.

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