Salome Starfire

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Black dogs and wayward stitches

I don’t want to tie up the black dog, but it came again, as it does unbidden. It came nuzzling my mind with its hot sweet breath, it came up over the bed sheets and sat its largish body upon my chest and henceforth I found my breathing labored. But the sky was meridian and peaked with splashes of gold and the birds were giving me their watcher calls as one of my two cats prowled outside, prowling like a dappled shadow over hot cement and drying leaves.  And the black dog sat on my chest and enveloped me and so when I could I read from my book on smells and discovered the chemical components of various objects and …where was I? Oh sorry I was lost again in a mild brew of disconnected sensations. Sometimes the sensations range from being incredibly bodily aware of little things–the taste of the lip gloss on my lips, the feel of my toes being curled up as I sit with one shoe resting on top of the other, the jarring sensation of my fingers running in recklessness over the keyboards.
I hadn’t left the bed in two days except to go to the bathroom and have spent most of last night knitting the most erratic scarf. The scarf is filled with all types of wool I have literally found on the side of the road over the last three months and it will be a birthday present for my darling. In this particular climate of black dog, I have noticed that the black dog has given birth to the most adorable but very needy black puppies. They get into my knitting, they throw my books out of my bed, they make the sheets stale, they demand to be fed but I can think of nothing to feed them. In this space  I chew the resin amber and drink the sap of the thistle, of the nasturtium, collect the seeds of the poppy, crush the pods of cardamon and mix them with clove and soak them in oils to rub over my dry face, my antlers for they are shedding and I am coming to blows in a fight with the walls. The walls crash down as though they were made of violent crumble and I step out in a kimono sleeved red velvet cloak, my body tattooed in the scrolls of tree shadows, my eyes piercing through the impression of trees to find the owls and hunt with them.

I have found a perch in the tallest oak to gaze with the eyes of an owl that doesn’t appear to be surveying the ground. I have become a tiger moth resting on the bark of a tree, I have become the unborn growing fetus of of a wolf cub, I have become the sucking salmon, I have become the sticky legged bee listening to the hum of nectar, drawn on the thread of scent by wildflowers, a delicate purveyor of honey.

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