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, spoken word performer, and playwright, John Biscello now lives in Taos, New Mexico. He is the author of three novels: Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, and Nocturne Variations, and a collection of stories, Freeze Tag. His fiction and poetry has appeared in: Art Times, nthposition, The Wanderlust Review, Ophelia Street, Caper, Polyphony, Dilate, Militant Roger, Chokecherries, Farmhouse, BENT, The 555 Collective, Instigator, Brass Sopaipilla, The Iconoclast, Adobe Walls, Kansas City Voices, and the Tishman Review. His blog--Notes of an Urban Stray--can be read at johnbiscello.blogspot.com. Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale was named Underground Book Reviews 2014 Book of the Year.
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