Rebecca Gopoian

Walking Song

My wooden heart feels smooth inside, polished bright. The walk feels good,
taking in air, then expelling it. I've gone all around the world this way,
strolling with my back to the leaves, ignoring the shrubbery. If I see what
is in front of me, I think that is enough. Bombs drop on the things behind
me, feather bombs that muffle people silent, stuffing air in their mouths,
suffocating them. I look forward. I beat my feet on the ground, lose count
but keep the pace. What comes of this age will have to be comical, freshly
painted like a garage holding many packages, stacked in piles and tied with
rope. They are our death, the monument to what used to be here: nothing, or
something better, an open space with thoughtless leaves fluttering down, the
wind blowing openly, unhampered by garages. The trees catch us now, snag the
thoughts we want to forget. I call for a new location. One without trees or
hydrants, an empty wasteland we can call home.



A bat was lodged in a tree in the back yard. I waited a long time before
stepping out onto the porch. Something made me want to run, but I stood
there in the doorway, turning forward, turning back. I longed for an
in-between place where I could hover and no one would push me in either
direction. There were at least twenty cats in the neighbor's yard, and as
many high, moaning sounds in my ears. I stood in the doorway, overcome by
the bats, the sounds of the cats and the forest peeking into our yard with
its brigade of trees. I wished over and over for a car to pull up, the wind
to shift or stop altogether, lightening to crack, anything to interrupt the
continuous sounds in my ears. I looked out at those trees on the edge of the
property and I wanted to scare them. What does a woman do with a bat in a
tree, a yard full of cats and a forest ready to attack? Well, I fell, and
went much deeper than I expected.


Partridges on the Stairs

I came down from the attic, holding the wooden banister. There were
partridges on the stairs. The banister was warm. The windowpane jiggled. I
waited and waited for time to pass but it didn't. I could have died. The
birds felt they had a right to the stairway. They would not part the way. I
got lonely standing there, barely moving my feet. I wanted to show someone
my predicament. I called out, and then remembered that I was alone. I was on
the stairs with the partridges. I felt things were happening that I should
have been aware of. But I shouldn't have wondered about that.


Talking Through Walls

My brother and my father are talking, and I can hear them through the walls.
The voices penetrate the floor, creating a buzz. I want the buzz to
continue. The walls have holes, which are a part of the structure, like
demonstrations in a democracy. I challenge the rigidity of the wall.

This sentence makes no sense. I have worked on it, prodding it with my
pencil, but there are no theories to help me. When I speak, it's like a
volcano, not in strength or power, but in the sense of running over land,
houses, and people.

I work very hard all day doing nothing, but I also tend to worship things I
can't see, and feel burdens I can't place. I forget that sometimes tired is
an emotion.


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