NOTES FROM THE BOOK OF M

Just now I would like to finally decide to hate the sky. To be done with it. To have finished forever with wanting to describe its insipid formations–I want to spit it out, all of it–the clouds, the birds, all the little maneuvers of flight. I want winglessness to take me in its twisted beak and shake me as though I were its rat. I will be flung to the ground, where I will lie for a long time, because having finally finished with all things sky, I will have no reason to be upright. The thought of pointing the crown of my head toward it, the thing which I have rejected, and permitting it to stretch its fluff over me like a lazy princess–the thought of this will keep me prone, my face buried as far into the dirt as I can dig it in. I want my face to become like a root, with a root’s meaningless grin. I will use my face to dig my face into the dirt, as far down as I can manage, and when I come to the place in the dirt where the dirt becomes bedrock, I will stop to rest my forehead on the cool mantle of the earth. I have decided it will be cool–because having rejected the sky, I will no longer have recourse to blue and bluishness and other descriptions that generally connote that the speaker is in charge of what she is seeing, and that what she sees imparts a breeze. There’s no question that my face will no longer be a face, but a shriek that passes through the soft pine needles of a northern forest, where there is a special light in August exuded by fungus and distributed by the flanks of deer beginning to prepare for winter and the death of everything on which they have come to rely, especially each other. These lonely deer become thin in August, so that the muscles of their twitching instincts are exposed to all the sides of the forest, which are green and coated in the fungal light. There is a softness to the relationship: the deer do not bare their teeth and let a hiss seep out of the cogwheels of their minds, which are always awhir in August with thoughts of the end of time, and the forest–the forest softly releases a few more spores of light as a sign.

Sometimes, within this forest, it’s possible to hear a squeak, and when that happens, when the squeak is unmistakably heard, one remembers that the sky was once filled with balloonists and that glass prisms were once suspended in the sky by transparent threads, and that it could all be described with the utmost care, so that the strength of the threads was not questioned, and so that the question of what the threads were suspended from was thrown away like old oats, or released from the mind like spores of dying light. And one remembers that when the fabric of a balloon rubbed against an edge of a prism, there would be a sound like a small deer sensing that its mother was tucking it into its nest so that she could go off and die without troubling her child with what would soon pass through her eyes.

(Dear M, goodnight.)