You told me not to read what you wrote, before you give it to me. I'm

afraid I did, this morning, by accident. I didn't, on purpose, but

William did.  You see, William's compulsion is that. To try to know

what you're thinking before even yourself. It's not a good excuse, but

it is, never-the-less, an excuse.


When every year contained two of each season, instead of one, the way

it happens now, Mesopotamia was a land of shadows. It bore fast

spirits, that rose from the ground, and dropped from the sky without

warning. My mother died in childbirth, but not before naming me Jonah.

My fathered, a widower, had many animals in his care, as well as a

trade business. The axe was used to harvest bark from dead, or

diseased foliage.


You were born 2 years before me, and very close. I could feel you

near. My father and I fought often. I ran away, one morning of the end

of the first summer of the eighth year of my life. I went looking for

you, the restless girl in my dreams. I came upon a garden with carrots

on the ground, freshly harvested. I thought how strange it was they

were planted so early. I wondered if the person who had planted them

knew how bitter they would taste. They looked ripe, you see. I picked

one up and you yelled at me.




That was all you had to say. It sounded like it came from some strange

language with a thousand words for "stop".


"Stop what you're doing!"


When I dropped the carrot and looked up, you smiled. We spent every

day together from that point, until we died. We had three years

together. We were best friends. Gypsies lived on the riverbanks. Ours,

was a sport of annoyance. We liked to kick their totemic objects into

the rivers, as we played. We never saw their faces, until the day the

eldest dragged us into an encampment and told us of the curse. Before

the woman uttered a word, it seemed to me that you knew what she would

tell you.


You'd already begun having the dreams. You'd whispered your visions of

a wolf to me, every sunset. We hid from our parents, at the center of

a boscage, between our houses. You told me about debts the way my

father had, before I met you. You explained that your transgressions

left you in debt. You, bravely, explained you were not afraid to die.

I hadn't considered the idea of death, until you brought the concept

to me, in the form of some great adventure.


When the gypsy told you a wolf was waiting, you smiled. We spent every

day together, until we died. I was so afraid for you, afraid for loss.

How painfully naive I was. I raged against the idea you would have to

leave me. At every sign of fear in my face, you'd pet my cheeks and

state, quite simply, that you'd return. At first, I thought you were

incredibly stupid but as the years came and went, I found I too

believed there wasn't anything to fear. You gave me terrible hope.


With the second winter of our third year together, came the wolf. Your

mother and father's screams awoke me, at dawn. You were gone. They

couldn't find you, anywhere. They sent me into the wilderness to look

for you. Find you, I did. You had decided to hunt the wolf. You were

tired of waiting, you said. The wolf had been so beautiful in your

dreams that you became obsessed with the idea of finding him. I'll

admit, I was curious, as well.


For seven days and nights, you evaded your parents and let me shadow

you on your quest for death. I could sense your resolve strengthening,

and your sanity slipping. The first few days had, very nearly

resembled a game but your eyes were filling with a blank intent,

animal in nature. The days would freeze your eyelids open. I dreamed

the winter froze you there, in the bushes. Something was coming, I

could feel it. I began stealing my father's axe, at sunset.


At the end of the eighth day, you were tired. We curled up, on cold

dirt, and I held you. You fell asleep on my arm, and as the sun was

drown by the treetops, Again, I sneaked away from you to retrieve the

axe. A quiet befell the night like I had never heard before. It seemed

deliberate. Nothing moved, nothing spoke. Even the sun itself appeared

to halt just before it's disappearance to listen, to watch.


I crept through the bushes, approaching your resting place with ease.

I heard the pads of the wolf, on the dry leaves of our clearing,

before I saw him. I heard the snorting and the wet sound of him

licking his chops. Your form was an unclear mess of black shine. I

only had to glance to know. I screamed, advancing on the wolf, with my

axe raised.


I hacked at the air, wildly. I believe I was trying to wake myself up,

thinking I had been caught, somehow, in one of the nightmares you'd

detailed to me. I swung, crying. The raspy moans from the throat of

the mangled wolf were all I knew in the blackness behind my pinch

eyes. I beat the ground with the axe, beat everything with the blade,

and the butt until the handle was too slick with blood to grip.


I lived a fruitless life, after that, but I lived. I remembered what

you'd told me about returning. I waited. The gypsies encroached on our

houses, in secret. They came to me with bits of wisdom from a place of

sympathy, for my loss. I, often, asked when you would be coming home.

They never answered me. That was the only life I would live longer

than a few months after your death, until the 80s.


Nothing can stop me from recognizing you, the real thing, especially

not a simple change of clothes. I know what a Muppet is. I don't care

what you do, you'll be gone before I can stop it. I do not have a

favorite song. The woods belong to me, or weren't you aware? My

favorite book is Catcher in the Rye. Are you the children, or are you

the rye? One thing will always be true. Poetry is the only good thing

about this world.