Bast at the River

I’m staring out my window, where Bast guards the sill. She is wise and has hips of knowing. Like all cats, she sees the other side.

Beloved speaks into the phone. He is connected to his family. I feel disconnected, because I believe nothing.

But I want to believe everything: every chirp and boom and song and savior.

What am I trying to say to you? I am trying to say that without solitude, there is no life. You cannot know what living is when you are wrapped up in the sounds of all the other living. You must hear the music in your own mind, the voice of your own heart. It is strong and it will drown out all the others if you let it. And that’s OK.

I am forging on without a plan. I feel inspired, I am caffeinating. This is coffee, roasted in a small town on the estuary where the wide-mouthed Columbia River spills into the Pacific Ocean, where Lewis and Clark said “Ocian in view! O! The Joy!” The things they said are engraved on a series of stepping stones leading to Waikiki Beach where a man from the Islands washed up two centuries ago, the sorrows of his space-time long sucked from his bones.

The sorrows of my space-time are manyfold. Women and men and those on the spectrum must fight for equality. Every color of skin that is not pale must fight for equality. Every act of domination is honored and sustained although it destroys and continues to destroy.

There is a pinecone shaped like a rocket ship. But our days of space travel are long over. Now we are content to rot and desiccate here on this rock, destroying it with our neglect. We are pacified, entertained by all of the voices from without: television shows, movies, the internet, porn, cat videos, syrupy pop ballads meant to soothe the otherwise battered nerves of the masses, infinite theaters and pot shops and liquor stores where you can legally numb yourself in anyone of half a million ways and meanwhile

the libraries become cooling sanctuaries for the homeless escaping the heat waves of climate change…

soon, the homeless and the prisoners will be the only ones who know how to read and do so willingly.

Meanwhile, back in the Capitol, those competing for its future line their pockets with the flimsy gold of corporate interests and claim that all lives matter, an implicit denial of the truth.

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