Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2014 - Page 40

40 | Psychopomp Magazine

I remember we threw them into the trunks of pine trees until the tips of the blades were gummy with sap, and from the trees trickled clear and thin lineations that reflected the modest light of the clearing back to us. Mason pulled a branch down from one of the slimmer pines until the wood bowed and the green of its inner skin showed and split away from the main. I repeated the act upon another branch.

We dragged them into the middle of the clearing, stood there with our knives together. The grass was long and bent over itself in yellows laced with green. Mason and I laid one of them out and with our knives nicked at the several switches growing from the main until we had a single, rough length of wood. Those switches lay like fans of pine needles over the grass.

I stood it up on end and Mason held the base steady. I had one hand on it. It stood up to my chin. I drew the knife up and against it in slow successions. Slim curls of wood circled the base; one stuck out from between two toes. Here it gets confused. At one point, the knife swung too high, glancing past my ear, and we both agreed to turn the blade down on it.

I drew the knife down upon the edge. I had one hand on it. The tip approached a point. Mason held the base steady. The knife came down. A slivered curling of wood pealed off. Something shifted. The knife slid down, the sharpened tip was driven up.

of all, of all of them. This one, this is the one that could do me in.

It’s my hands, and my cheeks are trying to blow something right out. My fingers slide down the keys. And I’m blowing something out and it’s sounding into something. Blowing long like that. Sometimes longer than this one though. That’s all I can really pay attention to in this one is that sax in front of me, the imperfect reflection coming back at you sideways off the curved brass.

No turning around, with those things showing from behind in that bronze distortion of me blowing the cheeks out like that. But seeing the lighting shift on the sax in front of me it’s something something