Soria Moria

from by Mount Eerie



slow pulsing
red tower lights
across a distance
refuge in the dust

All my life I can remember a longing.
Looking across the water and seeing lights.
When I was 5 or 6 we were camping in the islands in July. The tall yellow grass and the rosehips fragrant after sunset. Island beyond island. Undulating and familiar. Not far from home, with my fragrant whittled cedar driftwood dagger in the mildew canvas tent, I saw fireworks many miles away but didn’t hear them, and I felt a longing, a childish melancholy, and then I went to sleep and the aching was buried, dreaming, aging, reaching for an idea of somewhere other than this place that could fold me in clouded yearning for nowhere actually reachable. The distance was the point.
And then when I was 24 I followed this ache to an arctic Norwegian cabin where I said “fuck the world” in a finally satisfying way. I stayed through the winter and emerged as an adult holding a letter from you, an invitation, so I flew back and drove back and when we met in person it was instant. It didn’t matter where we lived as long as we were together and that was really true for 13 years. And the whole time still

slow pulsing
red tower lights
across a distance
refuge in the dust

In January you were alive still but chemo had ravaged and transformed your porcelain into some other thing, something jaundiced and fucked. They put you in the hospital in Everett so I gave the baby away and drove up and down I-5 every night like a satellite bringing you food that you wanted, returning at night to sleep in our bed, cold. I went back to feel alone there. All past selves and future possibilities on hold while I tore through the dark on the freeway, the old yearning burning in me.
I knew exactly where the road bent around
where the trees opened up and I could see
way above the horizon
beyond innumerable islands
the towers on top of the mountain lit up, slowly silently beaconing as if to say “Just keep going. There is a place where wind could erase this for you and the branches could white noise you back awake.” So I went back to feel alone there but cradled you in me.
(In the national gallery in Oslo there’s a painting called Soria Moria. A kid looks across a deep canyon of fog at a lit up inhuman castle or something.)
I have not stopped looking across the water from the few difficult spots where you can see that the distance from this haunted house where I live to Soria Moria is a real traversable space.
I’m an arrow now
mid air.

slow pulsing
red tower lights
across a distance
refuge in the dust


from A Crow Looked At Me, released March 24, 2017



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