Flying that night, caught in a fierce jet stream — the pilot’s voice emerging over the racket: “…there is nothing we can do about the turbulence, ladies and gentlemen, except ride it out…” — colors fading in and out of themselves outside, becoming sea-air-cloud-sea-night, ink pens bursting in perfect synchronicity over in-flight magazine puzzles at sudden jumps in cabin pressure, everything so free and beautiful and utterly unstoppable. At home in a tearing steel machine like nowhere else, thoughts rupturing in tune with all that ink: what’s anything if home and self and wisdom live among the brutal deadly winds at 37,000 feet? what are words which haven’t turned to molten liquid, haven’t fought and slaughtered a thousand samurai, haven’t shattered their own bones and minds to be worthy of depicting the frailest petal blush? what-and-what-and—
I’m smearing the ink into skin, rubbing it in deeper. I’m accelerating evolution, reinventing everything from flesh to bone. Imperative to attain the ability to write in blood, now only how to get the ink to smear that deep. My fingers belong at the birth of all civilizations, the tips are now black and from them spring mad naked spirits; they clutch to the night’s ends and pull it against time. My hair turned to sand sometime between the sea and the palm trees, my skin is marble — cold and immune to the tropical sun, and now my blood is ink. I must be passing over land now, I must be over you wherever you are, I’m exploding and little pieces of sand are landing — a grain at a time, a steady route to follow back to the sky, back if I ever have to find my way. Land (everyone claps as we collide into the runway), drive home, plug in — my brain is ones and zeroes, my fever exists in keystrokes and in pixels.
New York stands warm and strong tonight, a fortress of toxic air and unrelenting hope. If only dragons flew their hunting rounds at night, breathing fire and navigating over skyscrapers, if only the trees held council and raised their roots up high — with concrete, buildings, everything — oh, to live in a city where the wind gods assemble shrines among lights and bridges. Here, I build my camp. From here I will wage my battles.