In the part of the room that she crosses there is a change brought to things by only the shift in a state of mind, so small, sudden, that what has been transformed is not really a noticeable artifact. She has often found herself going to the window like this, with no expectations or complicated intent buried beneath her movements, only the dull attenuated physical effect of setting aside a portion of the curtain, and looking out into, what exactly? It is, suddenly, that everything was bothering her, the discomfort that recalling certain memories of the past most often brings with it, an indescribable itch, a bitterness, a steely, stubborn sadness.
A childhood friend of hers had been found murdered, it had been a home invasion, the details of the whole tragic thing in the paper that lay face up on the counter top, next to her untouched coffee. Jessie, her closest ally since they had first met in middle school, Jessie with the blond hair and look of a girl who never noticed her own beauty, who just walked around all of the time with the simplicity that such things shouldn't matter, at least not in the way that people always thought it should.
What do you do when you loose someone, not something, an actual person who used to be one of the most important parts of your life. Are you supposed to call up all of the good memories, omit all of the bad ones, and cry over it all until you become hungry or tired? Out in the field that was peppered with a heavy morning frost, she watched as the black birds pecked into the earth, searching for sustenance, and suddenly, she thought to herself that what she wanted most in that moment, was to be just like these birds, to be able to just go out and peck into the earth and find what you need, so simple, so un-awkward, unassuming, without pain.
What she needed to pull out of the earth was something that is given to none of us in times like these, something that instead requires hard, long, unending work. A sitting and screaming with the pain, a looking out the window, and most of all, a not knowing what to do or how to remember or mourn in all of the right ways. That was the human sustenance, though harder to find, it was all the earth could afford us, and all that we could expect, all that we deserved, perhaps.
James Diaz lives in New York. His poetry has appeared in Pismire, Epigraph, Ditch, Collective Exile, My Favorite Bullet and most recently in The Idiom Mag.