Feel, feel, what are you telling me?
Ancestors of obsidian from Egypt and China, brothers and sisters all stained and quartz. The shape holds upright, transparent to light. A man, a woman, a child, centennial glass. Robin’s egg blue. Broken down by eons, ages, years, months, minutes, seconds.
Cool to the touch, rolling over my arm, sitting in the crook of my knee. Slippery when wet – it is dry. Salamander scales, temperamental foe, unyielding.
Broken, it would slice the skin in seconds. Centuries whole, it is a shiny see-through vessel. Bury it in the sand, hold it up to the light, sit next to it, not on or under. Ouch.
North Dakota. Legend. After the 100 year celebration – and ten minutes in my wandering hands – you sit on a shelf in the bedroom. I want to remember what you feel like. All I can think of is the coolness beneath your transparent skin.
The window reflects off the exterior, a swallowed hole, internal bubbles that rock your core. The tawny liquid can not escape, feels like the color of the Quaking Bog with her decayed leaves and deep pitted filters. I can not twist off the lid, or break it with my teeth.
Red, the color red comes to mind in a flash of white O’s. One hundred years in the making. No more. No less. No smell. Only sight. Color.
The sound gurgles in high pitched pops. You said not to listen but I could not help it. I had to listen and feel and touch and hold and run my fingers along the vertebrae with no rough edges or lips. No tantalizing angst – it is objet du jour, pure and simple. And if enough time passes, organic.
Time figures in your undoing, breaking you down, back to the earth. Sacrilege. Sitting on a shelf, it is not mine. It does not belong to me. Yet it does. Every grain of sand belongs to me.
I could have chosen a toothbrush or a waterfall to hold between my dry, calloused fingers. But I chose you. There are two more just like you, perhaps second or distant cousins. I guess they might have the same texture, but I didn’t touch them or pick them up. The script is fancy free, an old text. Later, block style with little swivels underneath the curly capital C’s.
I hear the Northern wind blow through the time that formed you, along the Great Plains, in 1889 you were born. Statehood, manhood, womanhood, what will it take for the tide to turn? I grew up with your rusty nectar, somewhere in the depths of the South. The twisted bowels were tender and held me like spilled milk.
Not cream. Cream rises. Milk squirts out of tender teats, and sits and falls and swallows down into blue bottle glass. The feeling is mutual.
The coins plunk into the slot, red metal, orange Nehi, yellow Bear, aligned next to the girly calendar above the shop floor, tame in this age. I feel your motion, the peanuts that fell into your open mouth from the salt-filled Planter’s package out of the vending machine next to the grease monkeys. The coolness of cold green against the palm of sweaty summer.
You told me you were coated in phosphoric acid and your syrup was used to quell the coughs that spat out of kids in the 50′s and 60′s. When they changed your formula in the 80′s, all hell broke loose. And then you drifted back to Classic a few months later.
Choices. Too many choices.
France. Holland. Clink. The frozen tundra’s got nothing on you. Clug, clug, clug. I could pop open the middle of you, sliding down the gullet like a pipestone freeze. Underneath, the nonsense builds. You tell me you feel cooped up. I want to set you free. And then you disappear altogether. Was it worth the price of freedom?
In a river of cinnamon haze, I crack you open and watch as you drift down the Northern rivers and into the gulf stream ocean. Nothing left of your carbon soda molecules. Diluted and freeze-dried next to the rain.
You were created in North Dakota, born in Atlanta, and unfolded in the drama that is my writing practice. And there, all shiny and cool, you sit in the bedroom on the ancient dresser. While I write naked on the couch under the setting sun.
Saturday, November 11th, 2006
-related to post, WRITING TOPIC – OBJECT