Thursday, November 18, 2010
Eyes Of Dust
I look out the window as the train leaves. I am on it, in it, watching a dusty landscape sketched in the shades of white and black. Little dots of brown vie at the edges of the breathing photo and start to scream, warning me of stories better left untold. Of crimes unpunished, of little mouths that cry in hunger and weep tears for a life that will never be. I try and look past it all, searching the mountains for words of poetry, but their shadows, all too real, pull my eyes back. Escape is for the blind, for the heart that has stopped bleeding, for an eye that loses no kiss of salt. I stare in the face of sorrow, pulling its sharp scent in, letting it wrap me with its tears that cannot be shed.
Thin trees dot the land, their scrawny branches hold a few struggling leaves. Dust swirls in tan gusts with every fierce blast of wind.
The elements slap their worn brown faces, those people without tears. The sun takes the side of a heavy handed capitalist, a punishing, unrelenting heat shines never-ending. A cold dark night takes the side of imperialism, the blackness of their glossy boots, their smooth lead of total end.
It whispers in my ear, it is a blue breeze that holds a song waiting under heavy rocks. It whispers… there is a small white flower, a flower easily overlooked and forgotten, only a little girl with bright eyes in a landscape bleached of color. Only she will see the petals before they wither and crack in the sun.
I watch tin roofs that hang by threads. Soil has turned to dust, for the rain has found other places to drench. I see myself in the window, a strange reflection in the afternoon sun. I am spotted in the remnants of dew, I am a silhouette, only a shade different than the surrounding mountains and thirsty crops.
As we leave, I take a thin breath. A pain burns from within, coating my throat, stroking it like the hot hand of Satan, up and down my windpipe, down my vertebrae and into the ligaments of my toes and back up through my torso, escaping out through my fingertips, lingering in a spiral below the crown of my head.
What I see dries my eyes, leaves me without tears, without a drop of moisture in my mouth of desert and skin of old parchment. I am old, a thousand rings surround me. I find myself without a drop of life, breathing in only more heat, more sorrow, more dried up dirt and old wrinkles that had never seen the clouds. But from the front of my soul, something burns and the part of me that dies is like the weeds I never knew I was. I am quiet, but I burn. The worn streets sweep something into my memory, a feeling I cannot contain, an energy that seeks a cup, that reaches out with hungry hands to hold and grasp a metal chalice. I open a door once nailed shut. These people with their rough skin and old eyes, they speak of the conquerors, they talk of disease and death and boils, the masses of hungry, oppressed, searching for a road beyond the small corner they have been given. I shined a light into that small adobe cave, I looked with all the eyes I had, writing, talking, seeing what was there, searching for the answers that tried to evade me like pregnant clouds.
There was a light, a road that traveled a thousand years to end up at my toes, moving up and down, playing games with my limbs and organs until it spurted out, drenching the land with water, creating a road that would last another thousand years, turning past wide stones and tiny sprouts. Water pressed against the rocks, pushing in like woman with soft, giving curves, but it kept moving, never staying, never resting.
The train moves and I watch them walk with their wide hats and their children that look into the sun. There are girls that know of need and dust, dust that finds its way in, working itself into every crevasse, coming in through the ears, through the stomach, seeping in with the toes. They walk along their paths, they walk with wide brimmed hats, they walk with skin dry and cracking, for the hands of their masters had ruined the sprouts, had taken away the rain.
I began to bubble, I could not watch their hats disappear over the mountain crests. I could not continue along this mechanical route made of wooden beams and metal and thick nails. As it poured from my skin, an 'it' which I cannot describe fully, because to see it is to feel. To watch from a train window, to hold their stories, to give your tears for theirs that cannot flow, to hold a thirsty child and see an indifferent hand move through the air sweeping every bit of life into a metal vacuum…to see this is to feel It. To burn from the toes, to burst from the skin.
What I see moves in shades of black and white, screaming of gray and crying for the missing red. The dust, that ever-present dust was talking, finding its way in through my ears, finally ready after all these years to really hear. To simply observe and move on would have been one route. There were a thousand trains, each headed in another direction.
There was the island, there was the medical position, there was Cuba, there was the girl that needed attending, there were a thousand ways, some that I cannot name and describe, some that float by like leaves on a river, floating away before I can even see a shade and shape.
There are so many trains, there were, and I touched them with my hands, feeling the electricity of each, the pulsing hearts, the rhythmic pounding. Some were safe, in some I saw bullets and sticky blood. There were a thousand and I touched them with my fingertips, moving towards the one in which I sit, staring out a window at broken houses and dry people and land that has stopped crying, for there are no tears to spare. I sat with them in hunger, felt their need, the desire of all humanity, the hearts one step away from silence. I sat and touched them with my fingertips, drew in their breath and smell, weaving them into me, turning them into paintings that are colored in black and white and vibrant red.