Where the blackbird don’t fly

You call to the black bird in the Lord’s name, in that playful tone, Whistling, always skillfully whistling into my puckered and frustrated silence.

Channeling power in the skin of a child, that seems about right.

You are so right for me and this Sunday afternoon on a black velvet blanket in the grass, drowned and blinded by early spring’s light, is right, like the front door only clicks when the lock alignes perfectly with the door, split by the round silver key.

Click, because this is the pit. Click, because of your hands. You hold me like no other.

Your winged experiment flutters off behind your span of attention – and the boy melts into the man whose eyes split my gaze peering into Persia.    

I pry for more tremor, uncertainty, unpeppered daydreams of yours, “Judge, tell me what your hopes are…” You smile, like you did at the bird, and draw me closer to your chest, “Well lets see. .. I hope I have a job that I can leave in the afternoon and go home to my family.”

“No, tell me of your hopes with me and be specific.” Your calloused hands sweep across my inner arm, because you know so well, that it makes me squirm. Tit for tat. No more over-arching abstractions. Hammer against a nail.

After a breath, a coyful tone softens your desires, “Well, let’s see, on September 24th, 2011, I am going to come visit you. By this time you’ll be settled in and you’ll show me some of your favorite spots and we’ll spend our nights on your backporch in a hammock and I might cave in and smoke some hoookah.”

You grapple to articulate and build specifics on top of the sands of a dream, a dream that’s not even your own. Quickly, you blow by a year of seperation and reveal your hopes lay here and not across the sea. They say the oceans rips hearts apart and it splits our desires now, “and when you return, we’ll rent out all of Cali n Titoes and throw a big party just for you…” (You’re slightly patronizing me, I know it), “and everyone you know will be there, even people you don’t know that have heard of you while you were away will show up. You’ll tell stories about Tajikistan, but you won’t stand when you speak – you’ll sit on top of one of the picnic table with your knee pulled up, and you’ll become so carried away by your tales, that you’ll spill your tea and I’ll be there to clean it up. Everyone will be fighting for your time. I’ll wait.”

Turn and click. This is right, this is what you can speak about  – your hopes without imagination. Your hopes are now, in the heat of my body tucked inside your grasp. Bird wings. Keys in locks.

and what, may I ask, are your hopes for us?”

Mocha skin. Emerald eyes and Persian script. Bridges and other tribes, tongues and nations. Underground bars with long-dreaded waitors. My hopes are for the forgotten in mountain valleys, the dignity won back when a covered girl claims her voice. Kuchi dances and gypsy families. Open roofs and Dari worship rishing higher, higher, higher. Communion of naan and melons at night. My hopes are for the damned, the rogue and the exile. For lions of Peshawar and Pashtoon maliks. My hope rests where that blackbird can’t fly. I hope, with a bite of my lip, that your hopes become my hopes.

“You don’t want to answer that, do you? Its okay, you don’t have to, Katie.”

Yet again, I pryed you open only to stay bolted down, “No, I do!”

 To speak would be selfish, to speak would inprint my exotic reveries upon your simple faith and loyalty.

You tease me, “No, its okay, you don’t want to. That’s fine.”

But I do. I do. These are my hopes in two words, “I do.”

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