The hawk and the bánghorm

by kdillmanjones

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I write my life on this bed; I indent at the pillow and fill the cotton sheets with my fine-point Sharpie. And it’s Sylvia Plath who guides me through paragraphs, with her yew tree and moon; my mind turns black and the world turns indigo. I write nonetheless. The sloppy print mixes with the organic waste of a life lived indoors.

It’s enough to weave my words into the mattress, to leave them for the next soul who spends $79.99 a night.

The hotel lobby is nearly empty now, now that I’ve emerged into the murkiness of hotel life. Now that I’ve paused my narrative on the stains of other people’s humanity.

“You have Malbec?” My atrophied legs struggle to balance my full weight on the barstool, like it had been the Summer of George. “No wait, I’ll try a Zombie.”

“Rough one, eh?”

His words leave me unresponsive, unable to understand the language set before me. I watch his lips move, the mouth of a confessor. He’s heard it all, I am sure, this priest and friend who is stranger to all. I am the only one incapable of being in his presence.

He turns into the color of midnight as I retreat. I cower back to bed, contorting myself to write my life on the queen-sized frame.

I never give my confession and the sun comes up anyway. The words cover my bed, my body. Synonyms for dark whirl down the shower drain.

A solitary hawk shrieks outside. The maid will come any minute to change the sheets. Hours of my life, stories of my life, will all disappear in bleach. The hawk beckons again, and so I appear there beside her. The morning air slaps me in the face, reminding me that the lapiz lazuli night always turns to a голубой, a bánghorm.

I confess nothing. I kneel not.

I dance. I open. I sing words into the clouds. I write my life in the wind.

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* 333 words on the third definition of zombie.

** I included two foreign words– goluboy in Russian and banghorm in Irish– to convey “light blue.” In English, we have no single word to distinguish light and dark blue; we see them as merely the same color in either light or dark shades. In other languages, they are actually separate colors.