Tori McCandless: Helicopter Seeds

You know how to identify the calls of hummingbirds, so we hear them before our eyes find their tiny bodies, wings vibrating so as to become invisible. They look like they are part bird and part plant. I try to draw them, but my need for control ends in tracing over lines, erasing and erasing, until a gray smudge appears. My shading points to no sun, no real shadow, but the movement of shadow.

In the afternoon, helicopter seeds populate the pages of our book, wedged in between chapters, planted in rows. I take a deep breath that gets caught in my chest; that gets caught in between the lines on the page. I take a deep breath that doesn’t germinate, that gets stuck underground. Part plant and part prayer, voiced silently.

We survey small cities of lichens and moss, making the observation that many things can be disjointedly jointed, like an elaboration on the difficulty of bending towards someone else. This jointing, like an uncomfortable pause, a transition. It is not unlike the moment when what we can hear isn’t visible.

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