Concrete & Cypress


 It’s an imperfect science, really. The way it’s putting water on the stove to boil for dinner at 8:23pm, while you stand there in the bathroom sopping up wet Monday night hair, a few water drips and oil drops on the front edge of the black slate counter-top, wrapping around the sink’s white basin porcelain.

The taste of peppermint tea you picked up at the coffee shop around the corner at 6:23pm after running along the river, lingering in the back of your throat, reminiscent of the drop you placed this afternoon in the small section of skin just inside the center of your clavicle, breathing in what felt to be the reminder of redemption, how it smelled a bit like the retired cypress candle now resting inside the below cabinet, the one your lungs remember, while the white paper tea cup and its lukewarm liquid sit just to the left on the counter top above.

The tub drains and washes away with it the seemingly God-less ride on the T this morning, like when you’re moving inside a metal train car inching slow, winding its way through cavernous concrete that hasn’t seen day light for years. Earthen landscape no where in sight and only the smell of something missing. Two brown paper grocery bags on my lap, green yoga mat bag threaded over my shoulder like a messenger and resting against the plastic seat behind me, small pink and black nylon backpack with a rectangular tear in the front fabric where the zipper pocket used to be pulled up close to my chest,  like my body were a small island doing its best to keep my belongings afloat.

After the woman conductor called me sweetheart as I said hello, and let me on board for the discounted rate of 2 dollars and the equivalent of what must have been a 65 cent smile. As I sat down, my yoga mat bumping into the woman next to me, who on instinct looked to see what it was. And I felt so much compassion for her humanity and for mine, for mine and hers, as we simultaneously acknowledged it. My apology meeting her “it’s ok.”

It was at the Saint Mary’s stop, with the entrance to the tunnel a few snowy feet ahead, when a man stepped on who kept his head down and waved his T pass like he didn’t want anyone to see him, and I didn’t know if the fear I suddenly breathed in was his or mine, the way empaths tend to do. Stinging its way down into the length of my legs.

The glow of another train’s red tail lights in front of us alongside a moving so slow that seemed to take lifetimes, like the difference between being tied to a destination, and full surrender over if and when you get there. Like a slow digestion down the esophagus, a slight congestion needing some direction around which way to move.

I stood in the yoga studio earlier that morning, leading 5 people through class  inside a   warm room with its hard wood floor, above the street resting below sideways snowy minutes moving outside the glass, falling onto wet grey concrete and rusted train tracks. The sage I remembered later, that I hadn’t lit, resting on the light blue window sill.

And then later, I was cooking hamburger meat on the stove top at 8:58pm, silver spatula in my hand and warm cheese ravioli now waiting patiently nearby, while my journal and pen and the writing rested on a momentary pause on the bed, and my weary eyes reminded me of the difference between the satisfied exhaustion of when the words are falling freely, and the tired restlessness of when nothing has flowed through that day at all.


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