Last night ma found a Buddha head. She made the sign of the cross then crossed her legs. She’s cross eyed and often setting grass on fire. She smokes weed and watches birds nest in queen palms. She squirrels her arms around the nest to nurture the blooming birds who squirrel in her arms. She is a bird nest, the nurturer of baby birdlings. She is a nest of thorns and twigs wrapped around birds who coo on cue and cuddle in her hairy arms. Fiery birds. Song birds. Birds of prey and praying birds call ma home. Ma says she is the Buddha of birds. The head of Buddha is the head of a (wo)man or god or god-(wo)man whose hands heal the wounds of the world with their ability to penetrate the night cloak. The no light cloak. The no idea cloak. Ma says she loves Buddha for his moderate philosophy and his inability to judge her ways and wishes as moot. Buddha, ma says, is a form of forgiveness and furriness. Mama, I say. That’s not Buddha. It’s a statue of the spiritual leader. I know, ma says, even better. He never gets tired of seeing. I never get tired of seeing, of sleeping in ma’s arms, of sweeping her sticky rice hair off my silver face as she dishes about the “enlightened one”. Ma turns on the light. Her voice is soft and light as a dollar. A path of moderation away from the extremes of self-indulgence and self-mortification, ma says Wikipedia says. That’s my life from here to then. Amen.
This is what I look like when I’m mostly beautiful and stunning. Mostly human and humming. Mostly blue-eyed and eyelashed out to there. Mostly smooth skin with just a few chin scuffs. Mostly in my blue head thing with dangling beads that I whiplash. Mostly human and plastic. Mostly aware of the world around me which is me mostly aware of everything but me. Mostly interested in little red cars from the 1960s and fingernail polish. Mostly not Polish. Mostly ready for the pink ass hot air balloon to sweep me away from the laws of nature or New Hampshire. Mostly afraid of shires full of newness and meadows. Mostly I’m tired of most things, especially eggs, and the way the human race treats the animal race. Mostly afraid of the Easter egg hunt and the resurrection of Christ. Mostly afraid of mass and communion. Mostly afraid of mass communication and munchkins. Mostly I’m a replica of Annie Lennox and I’m mostly just a head, a bust, missing a body. Mostly missing my body. The body of my memory of language. This memory mostly holds my head up. Mostly high. Most days. It’s in my most memorable blue feather headdress.
Ma took me to Shark Valley. Ma is not the bird. She is the woman taking a photograph of the bird. I took the photo of ma photographing the bird. When I grow up, I want to be a bird. The kind that swims underwater like a snake. Ma was pissed cause there are no sharks in shark valley. Only gators and snakes, birds and fish, bikes and plastic bottles.
Gay-tor | Photo by Neil de la Flor
This is not a shark, ma said. I know, I said. Stupid gator, ma said, sleeping like it’s 1999.
This Is A Bird | Photo by Neil de la Flor
This is a bird. 10 seconds after I photographed “This Is A Bird”, the bird pooped. It had the runs. Ma and I ran cause it stank. I swear.
Road To Know Where | Photo by Neil de la Flor
The “Road To Know Where” led us to a tower of babel. In other words, we ran into a family from Germany who spoke German. We made fun of them in English. They made fun of us in German. After that, we hugged. It was Sunday. The day of the Lord.
Sun Cloud | Photo by Neil de la Flor
This is what happens when the sun and a cloud have sex. God is born, ma said.
Bird Water | Photo by Neil de la Flor
Bird Squatter | Photo by Neil de la Flor
Another thing: Birds are not afraid of anything. Not even ma.
Another thing: In the end, Shark Valley was like heaven. Even God spoke through the sawgrass.
Another thing: The cloud on the left, the wisp of a thing that looks like an exploded Pringle, its name is Marvin. He was starving for love, so ma and I blew him a kiss. He didn’t catch it, but we know that in our hearts he is thankful. Just like we were thankful for him.
I’m not gonna write a year in review because no one cares what kind of year I’ve had. It began like this and ended like that. That’s it. I didn’t get pregnant. People were born. People died. Ma drank this. I smoked that. I don’t even care about New Year resolutions or brushing teeth. In fact, I believe in breaking resolutions that bind one to unattainable goals. Goals that are overrated like goalies are overrated. I don’t even believe in teeth or years.
I believe in the continuity of experience, but I don’t believe in time. I believe in butterflies, but I don’t believe in ghosts. I believe in the paranormal, but I don’t believe in religion. I believe in Santa Claus, but I don’t believe in elves. I believe in looking back, but I don’t believe in regret. I believe ma and I will be young forever, but I don’t believe we are permanent fixtures of some man’s wild imagination.
Each day is a step toward the Midnight City. Each dream is a city of dreams. We are who we are, ma says. Stuck in stone warring in our stupid boots all afternoon.
When I finish this post, I will go outside with ma. We will jump into our imaginary swimming pool. Backstroke. Butterfly. The doggie paddle. Ma will inevitably splash water into my eyes and I will wipe my eyes. Ma will splash water again into my eyes and I will cry from the sting of chlorine as Katy Perry sings, let’s go all the way tonight. We’ll be forever young, ma will say, you’ll see. And I will see her believe in Katy Perry. Believe in ghosts.
I won’t dare tell ma the truth. That I don’t believe in forever. That I only believe in now, the ever-present, not what’s next or to come in the ever after.
Life, ma will say, is all we got to live for. I know, I will tell her as I look into her bloodshot eyes amazed by her brilliance. Then I will dunk her fat head into the deep end of the pool.
Happy New Year, I will tell her, but she can’t hear shit underwater.