The milkweed pod splits in my hands.
And silky white seed tails scatter through my fingers and across the meadow.
I watch as they are caught by a gust
and carried above the quivering yellow goldenrod spires,
Around the dusty green seeded nettles,
And over the chokecherry bushes along the Jock River’s edge,
Branches drooping, heavy with purple berries.
Yes, I have been eating them.
For six or seven weeks now, haven’t got sick once.
Probably keep us both alive.
Did the needle on the album skip?
What is that slightly off-center sense of second guessing?
What is that high-pitched buzz?
Is it the menacing whine of the wasps that hover around the white sweet clover
Like tiny little drones that threaten the innocent white blossoms?
Is it the incessant sound of the bluebottle flies
Swirling stupidly and endlessly around a discarded blue poopbag
plopped on the ground at the edge of the path?
Or is it the harmonic hum of suburban air conditioners in the distance
that makes me feel that the roots of my upper back molars are pushing up through my cheekbones?
There is a retrograde.
And an eclipse is coming.
In Leo, no less . . .
dear gods that ego–
is so hot; it shines down on me,
burning my skin
and makes me want to flatten myself face down on the dry hard dirt path of this long hot summer.)
And everything is veering slightly off center again.
My neurons are clicking, but
There is no steady beat to hold on to.
The edges of my thoughts are sharp
and the shrill sound behind my eardrums is piercing.
What is normal?
What is safe and sound and will anchor me to the ground?
What is that tension circling my heart,
and that sinking feeling in my stomach?
What is that steady strident ache behind my eyes?
Is it the eclipse effect?
Am I stationed between the silent dark black moon
and the massive burning summer sun,
pressed from both sides as the dark and the light slowly advance
towards me and
through me and
then swirl together as the planet Mercury dives into retrograde?
I turn my face up to the sky.
I try to look away but I cannot help but watch the black moon move across the face of the blinding sun.
The dark and the light merge.
And in that split second everything changes.
My electrifying ego lets me go
and I am able to escape.
And ride with the tiny wisps of the milkweed seeds
Down the steep river bank and into the cool flowing river.
Milkweed pod image source: unknown