Two Angels

 

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Dawn is an eminently suitable time for angels to leave the down of quilt and pillow, to slip away from the smooth cotton snug, to move further than just turning over.  A loving observer said that your dark red eyelids showed thousands of glow-worm lights as they flickered.  Your luminous clavicle bones trembled, widening, and your swan neck grew long.

The pale sheet bandaged around your breasts slipped allowing dark, mystic nipples oratory and your spine became a shifting spire making scarecrows beneath the sheet.  Several kisses were captive on your argent forehead, but your eyelids could not be caught.

Your keeper told you that you had had a fit, convulsion, apoplexy, petit mal, grande mal.  Gave you the precise time and duration, the clinical description, of your episode.  Stopwatch.  Jotting down notes.  A part-time biologist. You told me, toying with a description like un-relished oysters or snails, and I knew.

“I move in and out of consciousness.  It is timeless.  I am ashamed.”

As a dark-haired angel child you were never alone for the legion Sistine blue butterflies which lived in the orbs of your huge blue eyes may carry you off somewhere at any moment.  Your father held on hard to you when you blinked and walked with you into sleep until the butterfly wings were paired and still beneath the surface of your eye-lid lakes of heliotrope. Then, pale with watching, he would imagine your sleep, never knowing that your head was filled with moon-crazed creatures.

When you heard him pad away with worried steps, you would get up to let them out of the skylight in the hallway, listening for the moon.  As they dotted up into the stars, you compared the constellation in your head with that beyond the glass.

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Your life was filled with trees which you collected behind your eyes.  Eventually you had enough to plant out the pattern of stars in your head.  This tree chart which you often looked at was designed to be a forest of sound.  The breeze would rustle through many different species of leaves, and the wind would resound around the carefully positioned trunks, the excited air silvering through uncountable spruce needles, cymbaling birch leaves, tinkling the berries of rowan and holly. 

You would stare up from the ground looking through thin clouds and tree vapour, your eyes dangling azure fruit on very long stems, or sometimes a pair of errant bluebells in late summer.

Later, you would plant out your own tree garden to make a map of the world.  Moscow. Budapest. Delhi, all with the appropriate tree.  You were not daring enough to use the constellations of your childhood, but there is still time for that.

The huge shiny Bechstein piano took charge of most of your young years.  It was very difficult to get you away from its big body; your dextrous fingers constantly summoning sounds from the slim, smooth keys.  They were your white friends who carried around younger black siblings which you tolerated.

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Your intent eyes stained the manuscript with their blueness because you read on and on, hour after hour. And when your eyes began to flicker, your fingers learned to stay still while your mind extemporized blissful forays into your sound garden.  Then your fingers would go on as if nothing had happened.

Sometimes you would sit under the piano and flicker the pink and blue, and your mind would fly up into the dark vault of strings.  You would lie with your disheveled head on the sustaining pedal so that the inter-stellar hum would go on forever, or until some meddler came and insisted that you climb up on the huge leather stool with its buttoned hills and valleys to play something soothing. 

As soon as you were alone again you would climb down and yelp up into the strings, hungry for harmonics, marveling at the coarse copper of the bass notes, the triplets of wire for the treble.

You.  A listening creature.  A honeycomb of receptive cavities.  A gentle twinkle of star.  Breathing. Flickering the minute muscle screws of the membrane in your ear, tightening or loosening the skins as you pleased. Later, they wanted you to read and write about sound.  Paragraphs.  Letters.  Ruled pages.  Wanted you to turn sounds into history, morality, even to make politics out of it. 

You left the university in haste, going alone, unsafe, to flicker in the bottom of the domes of Florence.  Frescos were your cushions and clouds into which you bedded.  Your eyes always played the part of angels, sexless, weightless, circling close around the Madonnas, your fingers deftly activating spheres of coloured sound.

You left your first love behind.  A Rasputin who draped his gigantic beard across your white belly and shared his opium pipe with you.  He had travelled a little way into your world by this means but he hadn’t learned listening and how talk was only the voice playing with shadows.

You have learned to flicker at your will now, standing in the well of the Duomo, flying up into your dreams, or diving into memories if you desired. But always preferring the dark softness of Now, your senses working at full pelt.

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Then one day you thought that the coloured patterns and pitch of your messages were received. 

Far across the great dark dome in which you had been always alone, aware only of your trees and of walking again and again through huge mirrors, suddenly you saw other flickering, glistening eyes.  They were blue but darker.  Beneath the eyes, long dark fingers were operating vessels of sound, only some of which you recognized.  Above, a head was slightly bowed, intent, listening unmistaken and beautifully.

There were wisps and sibilances of a struggle for breath as the two beings realized they were no longer alone.  Their throats became blocked, crammed with sapphire spangles of tears of joy.  Only a thin trickle of air passed through which prompted strange intermittent sounds.  Breath-speech.

There were many diversions through mirrors before the two beings approached each other.  In time they held each other’s faces in long lit fingers.  Their neat hair became disheveled, blurred, and their commingled sounds were sustained into eternity.  They spluttered out colours from the octaves of their spines through the tiny trap-doors in their porcelain throats.

Dawn was an eminently suitable time for the commingling of two angels.

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images courtesy of Megapixyl.com and Mariko Kinoshita

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