The Sensualist

she is a collector
building a collection takes time
it needs depth, layers, disparate tones and hues
though the origin is shared
in the collector

she is the one
with growing body and soul

she shrinks and expands
fast joy, slow sadness
like wood to weather

consistently prefers jewels over pastels,
dark over light,
she gets a feel of things
takes the rush
then retreats

she aspires
she resonates
she finds a cheap string of glass beads (blue and clear)
to hang in her window
(certain time of day, sun dropping: rainbows abound)

for a long time she thinks she is dead
that she has sunk to the bottom of the sea: her home, her prison – the weight of it
and no longer has the strength to surface

but, then again, maybe not

she has been gathering:
leaves, stories, words, moments, strands, cities, seabird calls, wheels whispering pavement…

and something awakens

maybe it was her boss:
breaking her down
shaking her tree
(like her first college writing professor)

stirring the gathered stillness of her fear, her abandonment of change

or the distant boom rolling out from the dynamite in the hills
or the sun made moon in the clouds

her creativity, her life force unburied
by a spell of words written in a book
strength in the broken places
bullshit according to the doctors
treasure to one, trash from another

wisdom, she begins to think, is no less true for its inconstancy

collecting, curating, composing: a natural progression
tidal
sea to land, land to sea
the promises she made
where sea met sand

that she would return to swim, surf, sink and surface
and then dry:
a line between land and sea

the promises she broke,
all of it
leading to this

this moment
in her gunmetal blue car in the parking lot on a harbor
watching the day give
where the christmas lights strung from a boat
burn

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