This Great Society - Arts


Illustration: Joel Bentley

Alicia A. Curtis: No Past, No Present, No Future
Illustration: Joel Bentley


Teaching Reiki, the distant healing symbol scrunched out in black marker on linoleum tile; each stroke deliberate. During those first few months, patient still, you showed me – again, again, each lift of the pen or marker, each word slashed into existence was an act of creation. Draw correctly and the spell is well cast.

I could not hear you, only cared when you stopped mid-stroke to hoist me off and into the night, each coil in my spine deliberately opening.

An ancient technology burned from your palms to mine, pushed trembling through the skein of wires laid out like a rabbit snare on the world. Were we to go back, I would press your palms against that cool floor until they ached; would draw the symbol again and again on your hands; tattoo it even, if the trick would take.

You could not hear me, shaking your head like a wet dog in the wind, your chakras flaring and wild.

Like a frayed wire, you sometimes surged, sometimes burned out in the night or popped back on trembling, waiting for the current to run true. Watch then, watch me draw deliberately on the spine of creation: for you, healer, twenty-three strokes on the face of the world. There is a room open and full of old knowing, perhaps where your mother sat long ago while joy was still in her. Before you were born; in that place of light.


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