Our Lady of Dust

They taught us dust. Those were our lessons. We sang dust. Sermons in dust. We ate dust. Sometimes the dust we ate was inseminated with sunlight that insisted upon the rotting wood of the windowsill, the worm-eaten wood. That sill was a graveyard, but it was also my runway and ledge. I looked out. I went over. I fell gazefirst from the sill, outside of time. No one could ever follow or find me. Outside of time, I was beyond stalking (despite their mercenary prowess, stalkers had their limits). When that window had decided it had had enough of windowness, it turned into a small dark bird, a sorcerer’s downturned palm, and flew away. In my mind, I said goodbye. At my desk, windowless, I sat there, stoic, unflinching, more furniture than human, and absorbed the fuzzy linen voices of teachers who scraped at me with lessons. The window had turned into a bird and flew away and no one had noticed. We had dust in our eyes. We prayed to the dust. Our Lady of Dust, in these lost hours … from there the rest of the prayer could finish in twenty-four different variations, twenty-four possible extensions and outcomes. The beginning, though … the beginning never changed. Our Lady of Dust, in these lost hours…

We were taught away from learning with a blind volitional ignorance. No one knows that they are perpetrating ignorance. If they did, they would stop, wouldn’t they? I-don’t-know was the first step toward liberation. Toward untaught learning.

I dreamed of an ocean. They said there is no such thing. I said the world is a threaded ball of water, a splashable cache of an orb, bluegreen, around which a stunning geography of callouses and scars and calcium deposits have grown. They looked at me. Laughed at me. They. Every they. I don’t mind. Every they is not my path. Visionaries elope with themselves.

About John Biscello

Originally from Brooklyn, NY, writer, poet, performer, and playwright, John Biscello, has lived in the high-desert grunge-wonderland of Taos, New Mexico since 2001. He is the author of four novels, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, Nocturne Variations, and No Man’s Brooklyn; a collection of stories, Freeze Tag, two poetry collections, Arclight and Moonglow on Mercy Street; and a fable, The Jackdaw and the Doll, illustrated by Izumi Yokoyama. He also adapted classic fables, which were paired with the vintage illustrations of artist, Paul Bransom, for the collection: Once Upon a Time, Classic Fables Reimagined. His produced, full-length plays include: LOBSTERS ON ICE, ADAGIO FOR STRAYS, THE BEST MEDICINE, ZEITGEIST, U.S.A., and WEREWOLVES DON’T WALTZ.
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