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  • Kimberley Pittman-Schulz

Singing to Stones

"Until one has loved an animal a part of one's soul remains unawakened."

— Anatole France, French poet

I haven’t told this before. The cat I buried in August is wrapped in my shirt. When the sun comes with its sack of particles and waves, pouring warmth on the stones above his body, I crouch and sing. Huddled to ground, to fur clothed in mud, I can see close and far. Pebbles breathe steam. Yellow air leans into me, a tall, fluid timber full of dust. What is alive and what isn’t alive ache for music, one tone then the next, space between, full of sky and quiet.

Rocking, I perch on toes, tension of tendons, finding balance. A current rises through core and crust, through rot and worms, roots and shrews, through me, electric. Where did he go? If earth, the heart, is a magnet, I’m losing my attraction. Tibia, vertebra, past mid-life, my architecture is hollowing to bird bones, feather shafts. When do I fly loose, dissolve to black, more night someone else spies through, seeing only stars?

I haven’t told this before. Early one morning, rare snow and a dove dropped near, wobbling, drunken gait over the hump of stones, both of us cooing at what remains. He can’t chase you now. Her right eye, locked on me, was dark, wet, ringed in blue, a tiny world, a deep portal, opening and closing. The longing became light, my body splitting wide, one expanse into another. One expanse. The dove lifted into it, her wings whistling, and I was that sound, voice of air, friction of nothing against something, low then high then gone.


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