matt pond PA

March 18, 2018

Amphibian Friends.

I’m awake after dreams of raising a translucent salamander.

I was completely committed to caring for the delicate beauty. Black spots, black veins, moss green see-through skin. Right before daybreak, a pack of faceless teenagers chased me into a shed where thousands of frogs sang their sorrows in unison. All my friends were once amphibious.

The calendar in the corner is stuck on January. Flipping the pages would validate these months of boreal torture, a tacit acceptance of tyranny.

It’s a motionless trip, to push back against the winter waves. I stand, wearing running shorts and a blank stare, in the window’s brief solar heat. My vague reflection blends with the snowy outbursts dotting soggy, brown grass on the other side of the glass. Condensation ultimately obscures the scene.

I’m awake and there are questions about the degree to which wakefulness has meaning. Though my actions don’t always demonstrate the pinnacle of humanity, I am no better or worse by design than the next one in line. (Desire, empathy, reason, rashes. I’ve got it all.)

Noiselessly, I thought our disagreements made us remarkable, that critique cleared a path to truth. I was convinced our conversations were open pastures to speak and misspeak freely, to apologize, to offend, to swerve and rear-end. I thought we were supposed be able to disagree and then make a gasoline fire out of wet wood. Maybe even a weird, chance hug.

Sputtering flames in the encroaching gray, March nights bring continuous tones of cold to our bodies. Deep, drenched, scrabbling up from a crawl to a walk.

I have only ever wanted to learn from my amphibian friends.

I speak in secret and endure the phony waves. The practice doesn’t always match the premise, sand and salt water pummel and spray.