She was born to know the water. Although she always knew, that she was below the surface of the skin, in the bloodstream going back to the secret heart, awaiting the vision after a heart’s darkness, this vision never came to her, so she searched it out.
At 17 she tried her hand at art, but only obscurity was there, spread across a hundred canvasses, an obscurity that grew in her a sickness, made her pale and cough, an obscurity that only patience could erase, so in her bed she repined herself, under the covers, waiting.
College came then and here in her first semester came true affection, and she quickly became this older girl’s shadow, a girl with a heart to match her thighs, and a smile so free for all, one that over the years would remain on the rim of her memory some artifact found and cherished from love’s first calling.
At first she was timid by her, made shy by the very breeze of her skin, so rough and soft, freckled and bronze, caught her breath when she spoke of dance and time, and forgot all her world and searching when she showed her her art, it was then that she began to walk always just a little behind her and even though they were of similar heights she always bent her shoulders before her God.
And then love fell, in an innocent hold that lingered a moment too long. In the first moment she was there, her eyes did not look away, she looked God in the face and smiled, but quickly her hand warmed and her lungs disappeared and took with it all of her. She looked away and broke the hold. And the days after continued with such skirting and fear, but her God waited until the admiration and Godity were gone, until her love brought up her eyes from the dirt back to her to stay, until they saw each other as women, to come to her, on that night, black but sprinkled with tears, from Night’s vale, in a kiss, on that morning, by the river helping her out of her dress, opening her, and telling her a secret, between a hush and a shiver, a tear and a cry, between entrance and exit.
But then love fell, in an artificial hold that lingered a moment too long. And then there came fear and from fear silence and in silence there was jealousy and by jealousy there was born hatred…how and why, these are questions that she never could answer in the films she made after separation, those films that yearned for a return to beyond the bourn of “you” and “I”, those films that called her name endlessly, those films obscure once more… No, here there was not the water. No, here there was not the water.
The time for learning came to a close, and there was a plain of words awaiting their author, and there was a small group of people awaiting her dawning, and there was a life awaiting the dream of birth to end. But she was not yet ready.
In photography she found misshapen figures, women always cast in blur, and trashcans overflowing with the addle loss of every walking person, and yet again she felt sickened by her art, fore this was obscure, and obscurity found her this time weaker than before and began to weather her heart until there was only the impression of what once was and a nearby stillness.
So her days became wastrel, and her nights unspeakable, faces she met she never saw and would never see again, disgust she knew after, damage she knew in between, scarring up her heart-vein all the promises unkept between her and a shadow of a smile, that a needle continued to erase, days of hunger, days of skin, days without night, and then nights, nights hungering for sorrow’s suck, nights desiring emptiness’ fuck, nights without days. And soon after there came the time when she knew no one anymore, faces and names she drowned them all in oblivion. And in the darkness of all that blankness she laid her down in some desolation and she cried out for a dream to erase what remained in the aura of a smile.
When she awoke it was in the pale shoal of some desolate shore. Rising up she saw a hill above the beach and went up it and on the hill she found a house and in the house she found a pen and by the pen there was paper, whose blankness made her mad, so she attacked it.
Spinning in and out of endless days of strife and endless nights of blood, she came to a point where a shiver went through obscurity and, abraded, it heaved itself back across the horizon into its cave beyond the earth and beneath where it had layn her life long from there a vision arose and overcame her, one that for the rest of her many-widowed life she took to transcribing but was unsuccessful no matter how far she spread herself, fore this vision was her, and she was not born words.
And when the passion she had mothered and once held so close spun off into the void of her now paled eyes she wrote no more, she let the blindness gently carry her to the last shore of her life, where she beheld a last vision before black, of a bridge between the earth and sky, at the horizon of all knowing, there across a boundless water, and in last light she smiled.
In the blackness of her last days they gave her her rites to sleep, laved her body in unctions and whispered prayers to her eyes, and then they waited, in a cluster of quietness for time’s calling to sound.
The vessel docked the kind captain commoded her on the bow with a smile she remembered and with the passage set she departed smiling, saying: it was the water my dears, it was the water.