In Plain Air
Cavin Bryce Gonzalez
There was this mirage I once found.
I think I was seven or so.
Blundering through a thicket of poison ivy with thorny brush til my face and hands and feet were entirely bloodied.
Stumbled and found my shorts soaked, blood from my hands seeping out into the air.
This circumstance was confusing at first because there were these alien plants moving out of ordinance with the wind.
The wind might blow East yet the plants would blow West.
As if you were wandering down the road in the densest heat imaginable a shimmer existed in this small area just ahead of me and beginning where I was wet.
It was a moment entirely without logic.
A true miracle, destiny, what have you.
Laws of existence snapped right in half — a spit at the foot of God’s throne long left abandoned.
And then I saw the fish.
Water gliding insects.
Spirits perfectly sifting about this intangible oasis.
Here I was bleeding into a fairy pond tucked behind a farm house.
I waded into the pool and Christ... I’d never been so cold.
The kind of frigid so intense it almost instantly becomes unnoticeable, numb.
Swam out to the deepest section and blew all the air out of my lungs.
Sank into the invisible pond and wondered how I looked then, as a fish, a bass, a blue gill, a worm, in perfect harmony with nature.
There was total peace.
And I fought my lungs.
I stared up at the illusion of sky/trees and wished every day looked like this waving oil painting instead of having such rigid lines and conforming color.
All my memories seeped out through the gashes about my body and my fears with them.
A blood oath kept with the forest spirit.
I was completely safe and hidden and fantastical, too, if I wanted to be.
Some kind of imp or goblin or smurf.
My body pulled itself upward and as the water stung through my eyes I cracked through the molding floor of my first apartment ever rented.
Wondered then how I burned so many years with such little gasoline.
Went to the mirror and stabbed myself three thousand and thirty three times.
Pushed my hand into the mirror and didn’t even flinch when it fell into the other side.
With only one hand, and bleeding from years prior, immersed entirely in a painful nostalgia, and confused — wielding a large knife — I wondered if I was invisible still and pushed further into the mirror until it was the kind of frigid that numbs you right away too.