You have been many things since you fell asleep at the the wheel: a collector of garbage, a teller of fortunes, a center of gravity. You have testified to god, fled into the darkness and been turned back. Today you are a bird, a tiny thing, aswing in a bamboo cage. They feed you seeds, whistle news to you, keep the door closed. You learn their hands, big as a buick, veins like cables of steel.
One feeds you, whistles you, and calls you forth. You are all beating heart and twisting eye in her hands; her hands are all joints, papery flesh over birdhollow bones. She holds you up to her eye, and you know her, know her smile, her wicked, prideful, maternal smile. “Now you have learned,” she says, voice as big as a forest, intimate as a hollow tree. “Do not dare less.”
She throws you to the sky and you take flight as the old woman, your captor, the crowd, and all the buildings turn into dry leaves and maple seeds helicoptering to the earth. You are yourself, hair tall as a haystack, fingers heavy with paint, with a garden ready to weed.