Seeing Clearly

Somewhere along the seawall

I lost a bag containing

Every bit of understanding

About the way the world works

I kept walking because it was hopeless

The ocean churned and crashed

Sand and foam to cover my footprints

Like I'd never been there at all

There was one place open on the Midway

A pizza joint wedged in

Between the old arcade and a tarot card reader

-press your luck, kids, tell your future?

I took up the booth by sitting with my knees

Against the cloudy and wet window

Steam from my clothes and the kitchen making

A blurry world through the glass

Everything partially hidden:

My face in my hood,

The window fogged and greyscale

The short cook's head behind the high counter

People hurrying by, heads bowed against the storm

I pushed one cold and clammy finger

Against the pane and formed a droplet, a tiny crystal ball

To see myself in the condensation and reflection

Neon signs adding harsh color like laughter in a church

The window twisted sideways

And it wasn't me anymore

Not this girl of flesh and bone

Lost in the wind and rain

It was some ageless shaman

Or compilation of lifetimes

That tapped a golden finger on my hand

And looked at me, amused

She blinked an epoch at me

Jangling her bracelets

And with that blink plucked my flags off

Every hill I'd set them on

"Silly little sweetheart, now are you done with fear? Can we finally get started, now that you are free?"

I nodded; and she made the window shatter at the center

The light, the wet, the hiding gone, so all that could remain

Was my heart, my soul, my jangled spirit, and a gaping crater

The space where knowledge had been, empty to fill again.