Thunder rocked Kings County last night. This unemployed peasant trembling under sweaty sheets reached for an expensive cigarette at precisely 3 a.m. just as the tropical wave unleashed a downpour of rain that soaked the stillness of night with a symphony of crashing droplets reminiscent of an economy that drenches all hope.
Savoring an initial inhale from a fifty cent Newport by holding smoke in my lungs for as long as possible before exhaling, I breathed outward simultaneously with a flash of lightening that illuminated this filthy apartment with shocking clarity.
As strong gusts of wind churned the muggy Brooklyn air outside an open window, my thoughts turned to tiny cardinal birds in a nest in a cherry tree outside. Why these red birds built a nest just above my wind chime and the stone bench from which I meditate upon baffled me, considering the two cats that spend their days roaming the back yard.
The nest, although close to the ground, just above the reach of a human arm is safe enough, for the nest was built in a canopy of thin branches not thick enough to support the weight of stalking fat house cats.
The blood red male and not so colorful female cardinals take turns flying into the nest on blue sky days fluttering just above my head full of worry, regurgitating the milk of birds through pointy, nipple like beak breasts, filling hungry mouths that cry with the essence of new life.
The rain—the downpour—those tiny red birds that feed where I mediate—surely they must be soaked. Again I inhale, but this time release immediately, letting go—trusting that nature and birds have ways of weathering bad storms.
Still wide awake at 3:30 a.m. and entwined in a bundle of knotted sheets, I guide my mind through a path of silent contemplation as the battering rain subsides to a soft song of peace. Letting go, trusting that eventually familiar red wings of security will flutter from above and make their way through the dark heavens of green and greed all around, I find rest again in the nest where I lay.
I sleep without an ability to dream—just waiting for my red wings to strengthen until eventually I will learn to fly or be thrown through eviction into this world of danger where black birds sing false songs of hope above an earth that has been infested by robins that seem to flourish on the worms all around.