Ash and Snow
There is a white field and everything is snow but you and me. Above me exist ravens, dropping green pistachio nuts around my feet as I walk to you, to the middle.
And you are standing there and I do not know you.
But I have seen you.
Yes I saw you, you fell into black. Now I meet you in snow.
I say, "Your long swaying hair looks like a broom sweeping the snow."
And you say, "That's not what I'm doing, I'm just standing here."
But it was.
I smile not knowing why, and then you look at me and say, "I've been eating this cake by myself."
And now I see the piece of cake you're holding on a little Styrofoam plate.
"You ate the strawberry first," I say.
"How did you know?"
"I want you to have this last bite."
"No," I say.
"Why does it matter?" I say. And you say, "Never mind."
And we stare at each other. I walk away. And you do not eat the last bite. You sit down in the snow.
THERE WAS A FARMER AND A KING
AND THE FARMER AND THE KING
WERE ONE PERSON.
AND THERE WAS A FIELD.
THE FARMER PLANTED THE FIELD, HE REIGNED OVER IT AS A KING, AND HE DIED.
And the ravens are plaguing me but I love them. I make a campfire in the snow and the snow melts, and speaks to me, saying, "What are you doing?"
I say, "I am making a fire to roast these pistachios."
And the snow does not respond.
I roast them, and they are delicious. The ravens are plaguing me and I love them.
And in the morning you come, and you say, "I brought you this." And you hand me pistachio leaves, they are rolled up and bound in string. I say, "Thank you," I look at your face and it is calm.
I say, "I want these ravens for the rest of my life."
And you say, "They bite you, and pull out your hair."
"No they don't."
"Yes they do. Why can't you see that?" you say.
"They give me gifts."
You say, "Those aren't pistachios, they are rocks and last night I watched as you choked on them and spat blood and the ravens carried away your shoelaces."
And I say, "Go away." And you go away.
And I come back to you and say, "Please help make the ravens like me."
And for a while you are silent and then you say, "Okay."
* * *
And later you say to me, "You came to me walking in snow, to my middle you came. You were in black, and the black flew above your head, and threw rocks at you. And you loved it. And you thought that your love was love."
And we fall into the snow. We are buried in it.
Like a storm.
I say, "This isn't snow, it's ash, and we're dying."
And you say, "I know."
And a wind comes, it blows the ash away, and there is soil beneath, there is grass, there is a field of yellow somehow, and I take off your clothes and you take off mine, and we are blindfolded.
And I say, "You know, when I met you, a fruit formed in my mouth."
And you say, "I know," and you kiss me, and I feel your fruit in my mouth, I give you mine. And your heart falls out of your chest, I catch it, and at the same time you catch mine. And we are blindfolded.
But in the dark I can feel you smile.
And together we disappear into golden corn.
Or maybe wheat.
And it is our story.
Andrew Poland lives in New Jersey.