matt pond PA

December 20, 2018

Gossiping with the Fungi. Or the last few feet of the fall.

My hope rolls its eyes at gray skies. It does not come from a bottle of sparkling wine, effervescent and innocent. Rather, my hope lives for unclogged drains and hairless entrees. A wispy nude figure drawn in eye liner on a paper napkin, ten cups of watery coffee deep, a plate of cold french fries and warm ketchup. My hope is intentionally complicated, contrived and yet stupidly sincere. There is always a little spit in hope’s laughter.

My hope sits cross-legged on the dresser and smokes cigarettes while I hibernate, a deep sea beast in crisp, clean sheets. My hope writes bad poetry and worships Winona Ryder, Daphne du Maurier, Grace Jones, Lauren Bacall, Anna Karina, Zadie Smith, Theresa Russell, Tippi Hedren, Louise Glück, Greta Gerwig, Marpessa Dawn, Kristin Stewart, Mitski, Kathleen Turner, Thandie Newton, Jean Seberg, Liv Ullmann, Joan Didion, Nina Simone, Hedy Lamarr, Scarlett Johansson, Larisa Shepitko, Rihanna, Ingrid Bergman, Marie Curie, Lupita Nyong’o, Sibylle Baier, Brigette Bardot and Willa Cather. My hope hasn’t slept in weeks.

I’ve wandered out to the edge of my bed, waiting for the light. The literal light, not hope’s light. Hope’s light is from a zippo or a par can. It is the light under the door in the middle of the night, the light of fear, the light of love. My hope still secretly loves mediocre magicians, all the clumsy sleights and overstuffed sleeves.

My light wrestles clouds while fixing a flat. The sound of a high-pitched standard transmission shifting gears, passing by on a remote Mediterranean highway. I raise my head from the blacktop but everyone has exited the scene, back to the gray sky above and my religiously unpredictable hope.

Night arrives and in the bluest moon, hope and light harmonize. The embarrassing, arrhythmic sway of the last two people on the dance floor. Fake candles flicker across crumbling parquet. Fabric and flesh move as one bobbing heap. Unto themselves, unabashed. A proper hunk of burning love.

Within this corny combination of hope and light, I want to evaporate, drip from a branch and drizzle down into the soil so I can sustain the cold roots and huddle with the fungi, gossiping underground until the other side of winter, until the spring fills my left cheek with one more full-on slap of reddening green.