They never found the crossroad. At first, one person set out to where a ceramic jar had been buried. Its light will tell you if it is, was the instruction. Then they were six. Six from just about everywhere, shamans of both love and decay, building a city of wind, rain, and fire.
They found the crossroad. It was there, right there – an everyday occurrence, without a sign or rusting wheel. They picked up the trash, dreamed of plots of strawberries and green peas. All six drew a foundation, and then built it a roof. They held the roof up with six poles. Inside, a table was set down, full of seven rows of three artifacts of light. All six said at the same time: “here, in a crossroad made for praying to the sun and the moon, we decide on what to make of our presence.”
You were at the beach. I was at the beach. You turned around to look at me. I did not have the courage to ask you what you see. Without speaking you asked “what is a human and what is a life?” I said it is, or they are, an orchard blooming where a river no longer runs with the beauty of a rising sun. We began to speak in complete circles, until we made love at the base of a tree soon to be cut down, because despite the importance of a cross, a head revealed its mind, and the first path was not laid down by us. The sun does not lie, you told me, not having looked away as we shared the other’s salts.
She pressed his hand to say this is the end of this me, and so thus of this you. Though you’ve never told me you do, I’ve seen your eyes weigh my lips, which you misunderstand. Though you wake up, leave, come home, sit, walk about, it’s never through the path we made for ourselves that once had the beauty of a rising sun. She pressed his hand, a hand made for a kite string like every other hand, a kite string that had never been held. When she let to, she forgot: the promise of filling up a river, of taking pictures of tiny roadside flowers. The strategies that had replaced the promised path, a night out of incertitude at a bar, a sunset as four much more jovial than one as two, had shown her a door to take. She was capable of song, of flight, of wings. She turned back to him and said “forgive yourself”, then walked away.
A fire burned the entire city. The woman who had pressed the man’s hand and walked away, and the woman who had opined on human life and made love at the foot of a targeted tree held hands walking down a street named after a fruit. Apple street. Others came to join the march and to each they said “hold my hand” until two became many. Many, they made a circle around the crossroad that was and was not found, and the tree to be cut down. All sang at the same time “here we stand as engines of light” each pouring out of their fates. Like a river a city had forgotten.