They swirl above me, swashes of crows, in a chaos of dashes. They cackle, arguing amongst themselves, bickering with the sky.
These large murders are new. I haven’t seen them like this, as if they’re scolding me. For, I think they follow me. I know you think they follow you too. I would ask you to look up. But who am I to ask?
I ask them if they’re trying to speak to me. Of course, because I’m self-absorbed, I answer for them, “Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Some of them large enough to follow me around for the rest of my life.”
Then, I realize, it’s my ability to communicate that turns them into metaphors. They’re my mistakes. They’re yours too. They are representations of me and you. No wonder their caws fill the air.
And that soothes me, but in a disturbing way. I can understand why it might make you feel uncomfortable. They fly as if they’re in love with tension.
As a child, I believed their eyes saw everything and they shared every sight they saw. They’ve seen everything. Once you’ve seen everything, you can’t believe anything. That’s why there’s so many of them.
The air is thick with eyes. Theirs, ours. Have I lost you yet? It’s ok. Disconnecting is a natural reaction. Perhaps, a survival mechanism. I reach for my phone to take a photo of them. You must see this, even though you’ve already seen it. For you’ve seen everything. I don’t care whether you believe. Let me show you again.
There’s not enough space for them to land. I feel sorry for us. The trees are lower than all the buildings. We’ve built it like that.
We stay inside. Our mistakes can belong to someone else. We don’t want to see everything. We don’t want to share anything. We just want to believe.
Open to the air are rings measuring my past. It was you who told me once, I have depth. (Yes, you did say that.) A culmination of sense growing under thickened hide, a comforter of bark, a cloak of wood.
And you must remember, when the snow hit hardest, that one time, my skin, my essence, lost its protection, but, only for an instant. I internalized the cold, and for once I thought I was just like everyone else.
Normal. Like I could feel.
That’s when my lips showed their reddest. As if I bit my tongue, but I have no real fangs, as you once wished, and in regaining my composure, I drooled like a fool for you, my saliva drying upon me, leaving streaks upon that depth you said I had. For, I believed you. That was my mistake. And you believed yourself. That was also my mistake.
I’m not elusive enough to avoid cracks, internal or external. Laughter and tears are methods to expel your illusions. At this time, I could only ask you to see, to take the time to count my rings, for my shadows are a part of the sun. You will find we have a kindred compassion. You breathe me. I breathe you.
Your hand firm upon the chainsaw.