There is a person sitting in a dark room. Huddled against their own body heat, they feel a heightened experience of their own senses. As their pupils dilate, they begin to interpret from four vigorous senses rather than five mild ones. The heat feels more warm, the breaths sound more loud, but somehow everything outside of the dark room feels more and more less-tangible. There is a person sitting in a dark room. This darkness is accompanied by a different type of quiet一 one that seems to make time go slower. As if they have all the time in the world to remember the past, understand the present, and imagine a future. A method similar to coloring outside the lines in order to see the picture. There is a person sitting in a dark room. They begin to understand. A certain amount of time ago, one that seems like either days or seconds at the same time, they couldn’t understand. For a moment, they were stuck inside the box, somewhere lost in a room full of light. And now, they are free to see whatever they’d like in a dark room. They stand up and once again, enter the light. There is a person standing in a lighted room finding their way.
There’s a village in Fiji where the cattle roam free and the boys scamper about without shoes The river runs long and the wells run deep and the Fiji parrotfinch sings the blues A family of eight all in one hut warm themselves by the fire Little brown hands crowd around the sparks as the black smoke ring rises higher Their little muddy feet dance and prance as aprils warm rain descends The sun rises over the sea and the waves attack the shore, sunsets and again they make amends The youngest boy in the brown round hut is called “Baboo” for baby His tummy sticks out under is stained white shirt, his hair sticks up like crazy Baboo and his brothers bathe in the clear water of the stream as fish swim past their legs they holler skip and scream Baboo and his brothers brush their teeth with twigs from the twisted tree They ride bareback on bounding mules racing towards the sea Their laughter rings across the town They’ve been lost but always found Through the village streets they rome Viti Levu will always be home Baboo grew up and had a daughter and that daughter is me No matter where life takes him now he’ll remember the twisted tree
I am born on a Sunday evening. A candle left unattended near paper curtains. I am soft at first, just waking up and remembering who I am. But oh, so hungry, and I must find food before I disappear. I take the curtains and warp the rods, turning them red with my heat. I am a growing blaze, finding aging wallpaper and wooden furniture, licking up strewn newspapers and books stacked near the television. Ash fills the air and I am still starving.
I run up the stairs, leaving a trail of embers in my wake. Pictures fall off the walls and glass shatters; I find a carpet at the top that disappears quickly. A closed door tastes like cedar wood and the hinges burn red. Two elders sleep in the room down the hallway, but they do not wake before my smoke has filled their lungs. They perish peacefully, lying in each others arms, and do not scream when I reach them.
I leave melted spectacles on the charred bedside table. Glass has only ever tasted like pain.
A younger man is in the only other bedroom, and he wakes with a shout. I am at his door, and he foolishly burns himself on the knob. He has no carpet for me to slide under, so I eat my way through the wood and force myself into his room. He has so many flammable things; books, magazines, clothing, so much food. I eat and consume and leave scorch marks in my wake and all the while he is just … screaming.
It only gets louder as I reach him. His clothes taste like sweat, his hair like dirt, but his skin is sweet and young.
I die on a Monday morning, before the sun has crested the horizon. There are men working to repair what I have damaged but they will find no life here. Behind shaking hands the people whisper my name and the man’s, as if he was dancing with me rather than weeping, howling. I am tragedy. And I wait to be born anew.