Of the Icebox

Words about stuff and sometimes things

Tips for Proper Plant Care — May 5, 2018

Tips for Proper Plant Care

When you speak to the plant you must tell it that happiness is optional, that it can’t expect to bloom all the time, that one of these days you’re going to leave or it’s going to die or you’ll knock it over on the way out the door and it won’t be able to stand up again. And you won’t even know the damage you’ve caused until you come home that night.

When you speak to the plant, you must tell it that love is like the sun, you can never get enough until you’ve had it. And then you’ve had it and you aren’t certain if you’re melting from too much light or too little love. You ask the plant if it can tell the difference between a heat lamp that’s ten feet away and a ten million degree flaming ball of plasma that’s ninety-three million miles away. It might want to tell you that it’s actually 92,960,000 miles away and it’s that forty-thousand miles that makes a difference but it won’t.

When you speak to the plant, you must tell it that you’ve never been able to keep one alive, that you’ve buried two but mostly you toss them out when they start to rot or dry, or some variation of improper care starts to make itself manifest.

When you speak to the plant, you can’t expect that oxygen will be enough, that any words will do. You can’t expect that it will grow legs and walk away when you share a  story that causes root-shriveling agony. You can’t blame yourself for running out of words, for collecting large reserves of anger, for huddling in the far corner with a book and allowing the plant to suffer the wrath of your silence.

When you speak to the plant, you must remember where life started, that it was not in your arms, that you are not a caregiver, a life-sustainer. You are, have always been the steady, and your plant is just passing through.

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Something you should know about the gypsy spirit — May 2, 2018

Something you should know about the gypsy spirit

You have taped together these shredded years into something malleable, paper-mâchéd this piecemeal heart into a shape capable of holding love but I would break it again, bend it again, allow it to beat for itself once more.

What good is a well-tended heart preserved in a glass jar? What good is a settled mind in a universe that knows nothing of stability?

Forever Growing — April 29, 2018

Forever Growing

Between the two of us there are stories shared, built, hidden, treasured, forgotten, forgiven, forsaken. Stories to build a love, stories to fill two inexperienced hearts. Stories to remind us things are better now, we have made them better.

Hieroglyphed on the walls of my ancient cave — April 18, 2018

Hieroglyphed on the walls of my ancient cave

This word: Alone.

Every resting stop after has been a conscious turning away from that first home. Every commitment is a rebuttal to my understanding of where life started and where it will end. You can bury, you can bow, you can dig the word away. It’s fine to avoid. It’s fine to be afraid. It’s fine to create seventy years of distractions. But it’s not fine to want it. It’s not fine to prefer it. It’s not fine to cut it out of the wall of your cave and carry it like a mezuzah, ready made for every home you enter thereafter.

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Cities Don’t Break — April 14, 2018

Cities Don’t Break

When I leave your city and you tell me, “You’ll be back,” I don’t take it as a haunting, as a spirit drawing me backwards like the demons that forced me out. I take it as an uneasy blessing, an acknowledgement of all that has gone wrong. And since space wasn’t strong enough to fix us, you hope that time will be stronger.

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