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Two Faces

I am a two-faced thing.

Sometimes I'm awash with words to and from the river; churning and gushing, pounding war drum rhythms; unbreakable vows, promises of tattoos and love letters and revolutions. In these moments my lips press and part, my throat rattles, arms waving to the beats of things I didn't know I knew. The dream of my life catches me and tugs, and I follow, thoughts falling silent as the world winks, a glimmer flashing from all the others I finally acknowledge. This fullness of the edge, this verbed certainty made possible by relinquishing the center of myself, trading an imagined lead role for the sweet belonging of supporting cast.

And other times I am shy like a black bear bulking for winter, hungry and singular, hyperalert and unaware of my own latent ferocity. With whispering feet I stutter forward. An unsmiling glance twists me up, memories of rejection wring me out. Power lines and road signs and ranger badges push me further into hiding, further from this moment and this body and the fire that aches to know the smell of grizzly. What takes my place is the ol' catch in the throat, eyes that study the ground, the finger nail gnashing and the stammering half-stories of an exiled mind. I look out from the darkness at the debris, the careless momentum of anxiety carrying these feet, my feet, away. Only ever away.

How to tell a true tale about this dance of yes and no? How to inhabit a life that forgets itself a thousand times a day? I want to chase myself into a final remembrance, to find this noun I've been seeking and plant a soul flag there. But I suspect this banner lives in the wind, flapping out from the blackness to a cadence beyond control, and flapping back again when I forget which dream I serve. And so for now I will rest and wait and maybe even stop, peering into the distance for that faint glow; the belly gurgle, the single insistent line, the curled brown aspen leaf clicking against the forest floor; the mysterious hand that always seems to return, to take mine and lead me to the wild green eyes to whom this life belongs.

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