photographs by aaron eisenhauer
words by mia pohlman
there is a girl who writes stories. she lives in the forest, at the deserted sea, on the deepest level of the highest mountain shaped like hope. whatever she writes, appears. stars, darkness, tiny balls of light strung on strings across trees. did you pay attention in fourth grade, do you know how electricity lets us see? me, either. except to say for anything to light up, two hands have to touch.
look, i’ll show you. there, the wires strung all across the land, poles that stand apart from the next one, planted like garden flowers — they bring us power, connection. (they are the proof we all still want each other.)
to bring me to you: a power line threaded across the ocean (they dug deep into the sand below the water, cut the tallest trees into poles that would reach high above the seas), across the shores (mine and yours), through the jungles where they built around every tiny obstacle so they wouldn’t have to cut down (remember, even the ant hill matters to the ant), set the poles next to each other like little hairs in your pretty eyebrows (small touch, small touch, small touch, those fine follicles all in a row make up how you show what you’re feeling so I can know), working, working (that crew of women and men in sweat-stained shirts working), through the trees, over the plains, into your mind across my heart, two blocks down the street. brring, brrring. the phone rings. the phone sings. your grandmother’s bingo friend’s favorite artist’s pet parrot answers, yes, from mexico — hello. it is me. didn’t know this conversation would get to be. anyway, whoever you are, wherever you are, i am just calling to say, everything will be okay. now you, call the person you’re thinking about.
she writes these things, and as she writes, they appear. she is a magicienne, a world, a woman, a girl. abracadabra, a light, marinarasaucerino, in the dark. she doesn’t always know the right word to use, but anyway, she chooses. maybe this is how electricity works.
look, she is free. she is open. she waits, and her desires she’s spoken. go, tell her a story. maybe she will write it down. (maybe it’s time you wear your crown.) maybe it, too, will be. come. true.
**Thank you to Leslie Marmon Silko for these lines from her novel “Ceremony,” which inspired this story: “Ts’its’tsi’nako, Thought-Woman, / is sitting in her room / and whatever she thinks about / appears. … // She is sitting in her room / thinking of a story now // I’m telling you the story / she is thinking.”