Alice into Seventy:

The Ballad of 2020 From a Tent …

Voltages. Thunder. My last year alive. At least that’s my thinking and why I’m here in the woods, where Julie tells me the littlest ones are so often the least afraid. Snap. Twigs. Rustling. We exist. Me and thou. Creation. Birth. Bird nests. Nests of hornets. Warm darkness. Musky scents. Flower scents. New days. The seagulls, the flying fish, the jumping insects, all into the sky. The eye of the squid awaiting in the distant reef, into a world of hallucination. I choose the forest. Real. Too late to turn back now. Birds always chirping but not from a screenplay. A spaceship jolts. The archangel Raphael is near. I have demons. Sometimes it’s hard to see them when others are around. But I’m alone here. Wrath, destruction, secrets, love and sorrow pierce weeping wounds where maggots gather. I’m afraid of maggots and slugs. The forest is full of sleeping bugs. I feel I’ve lost something crucial. More than my girlhood silver roller skate key worn constantly on a chain around my neck. A neck my mom said should be covered up. The wind from West Bay clicks on, like the sound of a ceiling fan. Early summer tumbles around my tent. Shadows plunge into the sun.

On this same day in the year 1967, the Russians ratify the treaty banning nuclear weapons from outer space. It’s also the year I cry and fall in love with a boy I latter marry. And in the year, 1983, Arch Bishop Tutu comes to the street we live on the day after I break my vows and kiss another man. Much later, in the year 1997, the Avian Flu kills a child in Hong Kong and my daughter takes me to Europe. I remember the Ferris wheel in Paris. And when in May of 2016, Egypt Air flight 804, disappears over the Mediterranean Sea, I sell my house and meet some Gypsies.

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