Memory and Bone

It seemed the plum trees
were already in bloom
but when I picked a branch
what fell—so much like flowers—
was snow.
~ Izumi Shikibu, in The Ink Dark Moon

“Memory and Bone”

January snowed gently under the Wolf Moon. My Human watched her garden through glass, her eyes swollen with recent loss.

“She needs to see me.”

No, said the voice that turns life into memory and bone.

“Let me show her that I’m here.”

Humans see nothing.

“You don’t know my Human.” My words were a growl that shook snow from branches.

The world won’t be changed for the sake of one.

The Universe was pulling me away. I pulled back, held on to ropes made of love-thickened tears, turned myself into memory, and pushed it into the Universe. “See my soul. See her.”

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From a snowy garden, a lifetime away, I see my Human for the first time. Her mouth says, “Our house isn’t big enough for all this energy”. But her soul, the truest part of her, sings, She’s an angel—alive, happy, mine.

Years after that, I’m falling from a boat. Water hits my belly, fills my mouth, steals my breath. But my Human’s arms embrace me. We struggle, but she makes things right.

Then I show the Universe my Human and me around the house, living and doing, being the shadows of each other’s souls. Together, always… always, Together.

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Enough. The Universe stopped my memory reel. If you are to her what she is to you, she will know you never left.

“She knows. I just want her to see me.”

You are snow and breath and moonlight. She won’t see you.

“She will.”

The Universe sighed.

I sprouted as a snow tree in full bloom.

My Human ran to the garden, reached for a snow blossom, and I crumbled. She sobbed.

I told you.

“No,” I said to the Universe, after my Human began to laugh through tears, her warm fingers tracing ‘Angel’ on snow that used to be a tree… that used to be me. “I told you.”

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for Nina and her Angel

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a wee note…
– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads: Inside the Ink (Poetry and Flash Fiction with Magaly). Take a quote from the last book you read, and turn it into a three-stanza poem or a very short story… I chose the quote at the beginning of this post.

“…a two-fold paper screen painted in ink with a large ume (plum tree)”
by Kawakami Kōtatsu (1869-1957)
via

Nothing Says I Love You Like a Brewer’s Dictionary and a Yoga Frog

I looked at Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable, and burst into tears. Fine, I felt the burst… inside. On the outside, my eyes got hot, my lips trembled, and I found myself choked on words that turned into tears… of the bursting kind, I’m sure. My Piano Man gives the best gifts.

Don’t give me that funny look! If you shed no tear over a book that brings together definitions like Early Bird (“the Pentagon’s confidential daily news sheet, officially called Current News, which in 16 pages distils the overnight news report of the greatest relevance to the department and its followers in the White House, Congress, the military and the intelligence community”) and Bugger Bognor! (“a retort allegedly made by George V in his last illness when a courtier, seeking to lift His Majesty’s spirits, remarked that if he continued to make good progress he would soon be able to enjoy a few weeks’ recuperation at Bognor Regis, a salubrious seaside resort in West Sussex”), then your eyeballs (and heart) are made of stone. By the way, I someone told me that Early Bird will be renamed Twittering Crap, to make it seem important enough to the new administration. All right, so I made up the last bit. But the way things are going… who knows.

My Piano Man inherited his fantastic-present-giving abilities from his mother. My brilliant Mother-in-Law gave me a yoga frog. She probably heard about the incoming Twittering Crap, and looked for a gift that would make me smile. The wee yoga frog lives on my writing space, next to my bed. Every time I look at it, I can’t help mimicking its ear-to-ear smile.

The other gift I’m quite crazy about is a Terry Pratchett Diary, from my friend Y. I got it a few weeks before Yule and have been dying to use it. I love planners. And this one is full of quotes by my Knight Writer. I will use it to record my daily wordcount, plus a daily random sentence about something that stuck the day before. For instance, my January 1st sentence is: “Good friends find delight in the existence of skulls”, inspired by a silly chat with my darlings, Emma, Yvonne and Lynne. Speaking of Lynne, if you like planners as much as I do, you might want to fly over to the Insomniac’s Attic to print a copy of her marvelous (and free) monthly planner.

What was your favorite (material) holiday gift, my Wicked Luvs? What made it super special?

*happy frog, ginormous dictionary, and Pratchett(y) planner*