By Griff Foxley
A lonely heart invited me over and was elated I’d seen the scroll in the bottle,
And had responded of all things, yes. Of all things, yes.
So I ventured. But frittered away on dirty stoops and dim, private alleys along the way,
Lost my way a time maybe two maybe two hundred. But here I stand at the scroll’s address.
I arrive to a gated ficus line that fronts its yard, night-blooming jasmine embedded in the hedge,
Sending its first waft of evening in splendor to my dome.
A buzz clicks the door ajar as a spa voice invites me to deposit my shoes. What a cliché.
The walkway stone is still warmed from the day’s journey into night.
My bare feet juice into the earth at the welcome heat.
I walk a step as the lone click snugs the door up tight behind me.
An amber glow shines up the walkway in sandy tones across a bed of blooming lavender brush.
The cobalt door is oversized, and a matte black knocker in the shape of a toroidal field awaits.
The knocker bloods into the door like a stern drop on the center of a djembe.
The door opens in a splendid arc as though nested in machinery the gods invented.
And a volume swells to the ear, like a ship emerging through fog,
Of a Mozart piano sonata spawning a brief reverie of a peaceful Sunday
Under a half-moon on a lake with a party humming indoors a ways away.
And just the sweet swept away to sing you through the night,
And this is what sings you through the front door. Pulling out the stops, this.
And the entryway is candled and aglow and fierce in its will to comfort, as though each thread
Of each stitch of each material in the space was woven by the most artful digits
In prayer to the beauty of the goddess of true invitation.
And yes, again the sonata is clear, hymning the air that melts the acerbic edges.
A sprite as faint as an angel to half-believer welcomes with a moist warm towel
And the graceful placement on bare feet of a pair of plush monogramed slippers. Mine.
I follow the sprite through the great room. The first feeling that comes to mind:
I don’t have a thing and my body’s hot and rashy, and I want to make for the hills.
But what a coward’s walk. The sprite must be two or maybe three years old.
There’s nothing in here. There’s just goddamn nothing in here.
The sprite enters a side room and nods for me to follow.
There’s something in here.
So I step in and without warning I’m the sprite. Two maybe three years old.
I get in my crib and ready for dark time.
There’s just goddamn no one here. Help!
But then there’s Mommie with some machine up to her eye, a green light blinking.
And she keeps saying look at me look over here say hi.
But I’m upset and I’m stuttering and so I’m fuming and what is that blinking light?!
But I can’t get the words out—I’m tripping over sounds.
And no one is feeling what I’m feeling and I’m alone
And not a single soft voice in front of me telling me it’s OK.
And all I want is to have someone just come right up to me
And put their hand on my shoulder and say I hear you hey I hear you—
That there wasn’t anything wrong with needing it—
Hey I’m listening to you and I’m not going anywhere.
I took the coward’s walk—one maybe two hundred times.
I’ll wait for you and your word.
I feared showing up with nothing but dreck to show.
I’ll wait for you to catch your breath.
I’m just here waiting and you just start telling me everything
Whenever you’re ready.