Dirt. Warm and dry across my fingers. My fingers scrape again, beneath it is colder and moist. The roots of plants racing, weeds hiding from my closing fists. The earth becomes unforgiving on the knees, the elbows, the fingers, the fist. The earth is hard on the needs. There is unseen blood towards the tip of the fingernails. Occasionally the old earth is hardened, while the flesh is soft and often gives. Memory, the little memories that live. Flesh.
I lift my ear to the sky and listen. Wind like love, birds like lovers. Sudden silence, then the return fluttering of flight. The sound of a passing car blended into what I feel to be natural. I silently yearn to be actual again. I lean in and quietly ask this time to be more temporal.
I move on.
Slowly across the ground I pull and beg.
The sun presses against my back inconsistently. Across my neck weekdays have marched effortlessly. I lift my arm to check the forgotten watch which I must have abandoned. There I find only a hungry mosquito landed. A quick little effort and I am alone again, stranded. Handed back over to the earth, with the broad necklace of sunburn for these candid efforts. The sun presses on.
I lean in and begin again. The fresh life of weeds tickling the palm of my soil smeared hands. Again I imagine myself a minor god delivering terror, order, death. Shiva me. In truth I struggle with order. “Don’t worry, time reminds”, say the clouds. Once found the order embraces me relentlessly. There is a god-damned against all that my eyes prefer. I am held against much that my heart adores.
I dig deeper. My fingers scraping on and into the warm rich soil. Much awaits me there: the imagined love that reality cannot equal. There that soil blackened my fingers and hardened the skin about them, that once tender place.
I tear the leaves from a weed, stripping them away into my palm. The weed stands, unconvinced. I reach down to the base of the weed and try to pull it from the earth. It snaps of in my hand just above the surface of the soil. I dig in and find its roots, clawing at them until I am sure that it is over between us.
I go to the grass and roll into it.
This was spring and all the canaries blossomed to flight. My ears were migrating, my mind was building many castles in Spain. My heart was with the hummingbirds. The countless things that are counting us. I pushed aside some leaves, inhaling some dust. The treasure of soil, that persistent memory swims within me in soft knowing sadness, in dark soil. The eddying earth and my lonely love. The forever dark and unknown toil.
I raise my dirty hands. To whom do I belong? My heart becomes evening waters and I sink within them. Bathed, I wander. Is there ever a redeeming? Ill-equipped for dreams, dreamers and all the dreaming.
Bereft of earth, the soil lingers.