A poem by CARLA BELLOCH ARANGO.
I lie on the carpeted floor
and watch the spider climb the curtain against an ocean of light.
I’m still awake in the dark
at the glow of plastic stars on an invisible ceiling that has watched me die a thousand times.
This has always been our mistake:
time does not tick, it flows.
It rushes like a river and it drips like honey but it does not stop to take a breath between the stiff movements of a clock’s hands.
Almost summer outside the window, but
it could be winter for all we know inside.
There’s a sunrise every morning, but
we are stuck in a slow midnight.
A midnight that drips like honey, yet lacks the sweetness that brings it delight.
When I speak of rivers I do not mean speed;
I mean that they cannot be trapped by human hands.
Slipping from between shaking fingers like Icarus from the sky.
There’s a breeze but it does not reach my skin. I know only because the trees
bend to its symphony on the other side of the glass,
mutinous in their freedom in ways I cannot be in my confinement.
The glass might as well be concrete.
But that’s not the point, it’s not.
The point is the honey,
how it’s like a river, one that we can never
I get on my knees on the damp grass and feel it soak through to the bone,
then like a prayer I bring my mouth to the water, the honey, the river
and try to drink it up whole.
I’m more likely to choke.
Give it back, give it back, give it back,
it’s worth more to me than decades of my life.
Featured image courtesy of Carla Belloch Arango.