"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


At the King Pines cabin, Adirondacks

At the King Pines cabin, Adirondacks

Sair and I would go there every March. 
I dunno how many times the rapture of silence
removed us from our bodies or set our 
indistinguishable identities back inside 
our fleshly stalls. The world owned up to its
stark circadian rhythms and poignant body
as we crunched bits of oak into the wood-oven stove. 
I could hear the silence of fire crumple
into the servitude of warmth. We were soothed.

Both of us prayed that our mandala eyes
were smitten with reverence as we taught ourselves
to forget–much like the way I taught myself 
to play the accordion: I moved according to my skin,
to the instinct, by its own chord, according to the body, 
to its fields, to its limpid breeze. I dunno how 
many times we prayed in silence. Our humility:
we were as ants amongst pines. We were small,
yet we were alive. I could hear the fire whisper

unto the daylight and the pines, asking
for forgiveness and for silence. Consistently 
burning must be agony, so loud and torturous, 
Sair and I would affirm every March–over time,
we started talking of the agony of fire
even before we arrived. We were filled with this
phrase; we were filled by the reliance of fire–How gracious 
it was, even without prayer. We were moved. 
No codes of skin were mean to outlast identity:

We spoke together about the kingdoms and queendoms
of our youth. The sun at dusk–the sun,
like a curl on Ganymedes’ forehead, poking 
our forehead, our mandala eyes, our sooty chins–
and the cabin blooming bright by the wood-oven stove.
Sair and I would recall our codes every March.
I could hear the silence of fire crumple
as she told me about her queendom, “The dusk
was always perfect when I was raking with my gramma

in the side yard under the giant pine.
The pines watched over us as they do right now.”
Then she asked me about my kingdoms,
and I said, “when I was working at the cemetery with
my grandfather, Apollo would spur the horses
pulling his chariot and I would watch the world
wave goodbye–in the last minutes
the tombstones would be covered in ochre
and I would think of the smell of hay and straw.

My gramma would yell from the house ‘it’s dinner
time!’ and both of us would march back home.”
I could hear silence crumple in the fire,
much like the sound of the hay I used to smell.
Sair and I would own up to our youth,
its stark circadian rhythms and poignant body,
as we crunched more bits of oak into the wood-oven stove. 
The stove bloomed. The air was groomed with smoke
and our lungs were in the midst of fiery hygiene.  

I dunno how many times the rapture of dusk
removed us from our bodies or placed our 
indistinguishable identities back inside our fleshly stalls–
But it was much like the way we put wood in the stove:
instinctually, indifferently; nothing 
could be as innate as our code of allowance.
This code crumpled so deeply into our fiery hearts:
We were soothed, we were small, and we were moved, yet 
we were alive–circled by the aureole of forgiveness.


Parker Jamieson is an existentialist from Woodlawn, NY. They read the almanac of their dreams - nightly - to punctuate their writing. They like to read and go to school and live amidst notebook and pen, tombstone and grave, smile and face.

Cover photo by ura druchuck on Unsplash

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