The Angels Speak

This is a map. With it, we can move our fingers from Florida to Washington and cross the ocean to Japan. We can draw in the houses you lived in, the people you knew, the roadsides you remember with particular clarity. We can mark the places where your mother died, and your father, with Xs, or a sign of the cross. With this map we can have our hand in two places at once: sucking in the strange sea air at Coney Island while simuleanous standing under a canopy of trees in the thick woods of West Virginia. Or we can fold it up: introduce the Adironacks to Salt Lake, deliver Long Island right into San Francisco's lap. There are many things we can do with this map. We could tear out the very land we stand on, invent islands, or even crumple it up, and fly away.

This is a man. He has a spine, a heart, and brain. He has four limbs and twenty digits and can count to well past a trillion, but don't ask him -- he won't. He is not the sum of his part: spine + heart + brain + (air in-air out) does not equal his name; although truly his name is another one of his parts and is therefore not who he is. Who is he then? We know he can move his fingers or move 3000 miles. He is not an airplane, or an alphabet; though these things are part of him. He has a mother, and father, and when he dies he may have a son who is him but is not, and he may or may not be thankful for that. We have so many questions. Is he the same in New York as he is in Colorado, watching the sun rise over the body of a deer ten days dead and nothing left to show for it than snow white bones? What color are his bones? If he should die in a meadow like this one, and if the sun shines on him early one morning like it does today, will that light become part of him? Do bones + light = this man when he is dead? Or does he become his bones then, and the way they send light back through the air, and our eyes that are watching him? If so, then he is also the brain that sits in the bones' nest behind the our eyes that watch him, and the electricity in our brain, and the roses in our breeze, and the land our breeze moves through as it pushes its way across the planet, opening and closing doors wherever it goes. This is a man. He is not a map, or a flower; though he can fold himself up; he can disappear; or he can invent a reason, and stay; and then he is here.

What is that reason? We are desperate to know.


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