The Fiery One is back! One of his co-workers, H, picked me up and drove me to the airport to meet him when his plane came in. I couldn’t believe the size of the plane he came in on, because to me it appeared only slightly larger than a city bus. Small airplanes freak me the fuck out.
But much more importantly than that... I was amazed at his face and his hands when he entered the airport. I am always amazed at his face and his hands when he comes back from a long trip. This time it was his thumbs. I have a thing for hands in general, and a specific thing for thumbs. Watching hands is what I do while people talk to me, unless I don’t like their hands, and it is usually the thumbs that are the deciding factor. I could watch his hands, thumbs and all, forever. His thumbs look like they should be pushing themselves through clay, smudging paint around on canvas, pressing indentations into a mold. When we held hands at the airport, his thumb wrapped firmly around mine, occasionally squeezing to reiterate the fact of our being-on-the-same-continent-ness. I promise never to forget those thumbs again.
He gifted me with a fabulous ring from Leuven, Belgium (the city’s name is spelled several different ways on the internet, so I picked one. Apologies to Helvetica and Mark if I picked the wrong one). The ring is a large, dull silver square frame with a painted piece of canvas mounted behind it. I’ve never seen anything quite like it. It sit comfortably on my finger like warm socks. I want to lick it, but I’m not sure how water-proof the paint on the canvas part is.
What seems crazy to me at the moment is that I didn’t take today off work. The Fiery One has only been on home soil since 8:15 pm last night, and I am sitting here typing away over my lunch break at work. It’s ridiculous. I should be cuddled up with him at home examining the intense beauty of his thumbs and water-proofing the canvas on this fabulous new ring. But no. I’m at work. Can anyone tell me where my brain was a couple of weeks ago when I should have asked for this particular Monday off?
Being at work has partially paid off, though. My boss came back from Montreal with these incredible bagels, which I am going to eat with the herb and garlic cream cheese she also brought. My co-workers will simply have to keep their distance this afternoon. I think they will keep their distance anyway, because I just noticed that I have a huge dollop of tzatziki squashed between my thighs. It doesn’t go very well with my grey wool pants at all. Or my office chair. I feel like sticking a sticky note to my leg that says “Believe me, it’s not splooge.” Because it could be splooge. For the past forty-two days of the Fiery One’s absence, it wouldn’t have been, but today it could be splooge, and this makes me divinely happy. (Ha! I have just added “splooge” to my spellchecker).
Flying Deeper Into the Century
– Pier Giorgio di Cicco, 1949 -
Flying deeper into the century
is exhilarating, the faces of loved ones eaten out
slowly, the panhandles of flesh warding off
the air, the smiling plots. We are lucky to be mature,
in our prime, seeing more treaties, watching
TV get computerized. Death has no dominion.
It lives off the land. The glow over the hill, from
the test sites, at night, the whole block of neighbours
dying of cancer over the next thirty years. We are
suing the government for a drop of blood; flying deeper
into the century, love,
the lies are old lies with more imagination;
the future is a canoe. The three bears are ravenous, not content
with porridge. Flying deeper into the century,
my hands are prayers, hooks, streamers.
I cannot love grass, cameos or lungs.
The end of the century is a bedspread up to the eyes.
I want to be there, making ends meet.
I will not love you, with such malice at large.
Flying deeper into the century is beautiful, like
coming up for the third time, life flashing before us.
The major publishing event is the last poem of
all time. I am a lonely bastard. My brothers and sisters have
had sexual relations, and I am left with their mongrel sons
writing memoirs about the dead in Cambodia.
Flying deeper, I do not remember what I cared for, out
of respect. Oh Time, oh Newsweek, oh Ladies' Home Journal,
oh the last frontier, I am deeply touched.
The sun, an ignoramus, comes up.
I have this conversation with it. Glumly, glumly, deeper
I fly into the century, every feather of each wing
absolution, if only I were less than human, not angry
like a beaten thing.