Maybe the wind can wash away our stories.
That’s what I want because
Even the stories I tell you aren’t true
And I know that
Despite that I’m being honest
But as the wind gusts
And tinkers with small leaves
I know the story I told you would be better off dead,
Like those leaves will die soon:
Dry, crinkle up, fall to the ground
And each season have the chance
To let the past years’ story
Of birth, growth, and changing colors
fall to the ground, blow away
and get rained on
to compost and rot
so new stories can eventually
all wet with anticipation
so many months away.
Rot, rot, rot,
That’s all stories ever do.
They sink into the ground, all wet
And having lived too long already,
Told in all their forms
(except all the others).
But even as they rot
They were once tiny leaflets,
All thin and delicate with hope and beginning.
We didn’t know for sure they’d rot,
Though of course we should have.
How is it we didn’t know?
After all these years living alongside creation,
Pretending we are other
And our stories last forever.
Only the strongest of winds can remind us
How thin and frail they are,
How little we even know of their past,
Their processes, their origins,
And projected futures.
So sturdy we are though
So sturdy in our telling
Of all the things that have happened to us,
Of all the ways we’ve known color, shape
All the ways we’ve been pretty,
All the ways we’ve smelled rot,
Been blown off,
Been taken to and from where we belong.
Life is like that, whatever you are,
Wherever you go
And each time around
You know it less
In the telling
In the blowing away.
I was talking to an old friend
And what do old friends do but discuss the characters
They both know
Make a shared story of mutual acquaintances
Who’ve blown away
Or even who’ve died
And leaves do that too,
But leaves don’t do that.
How else are we to know ourselves?
How else are we to grow alongside each other?
Or blow away one after another in the next windstorm,
Or in this very one.
It’s our turn to fall sometimes,
When the wind whistles our name
In leaf language
Which we’ve come to know how to hear
And blows us away on a trajectory
We’ve learned how to bear
Barren and dry
All crinkled up
Soggy like mustard
Heavy and free once we’ve fallen
And stuck to the ground
There was never anywhere to go but down
Despite gusts of wind blowing us every which way
In attempt to convince us
We were lost or temporary.