© jonathan saunders
Today I saw a bat on a stake. Today I saw a bird on a roost. Today I saw a spider in a crevasse.
Today I saw a mountain lion on a perch. Today I saw a snake in the grass. Today I saw a bird in a cage.
Can You Hear Me Breathing ?
15 October 1997
#3, A 100 Page Letter To Amy In 40 Days
Maybe or maybe not the day I wrote this witnessed event down, I went over to a friends.
It was late. His woman was away. I slumped into a chair and starred at my feet. This friend of mine said, “You smell like a marker.”
Happy Birthday To My Love & My Sorrow
3/21 and 3B4
“I Want To See What You Were Seeing”
Circles Equal A Sum Of What Has Become
Precisely As A Science I Wish I Couldn’t Measure
I Can See The Raindrops Your Hair Is Holding
Six maybe seven years ago I was in the bodega across from my home, waiting in a line. I looked behind me as I was bored and frustrated and impatient. There, directly behind me was a woman towering over me, so it seemed. I am six feet and an inch, yet she was even taller. I had to look up to see her eye to eye and I liked this, a great deal. I was frozen. I couldn’t stop staring. Her hair, her features and her stare, her stare forward and as bored as I felt, I was frozen. I was staring at her and I didn’t care and she didn’t notice. I remember her clothes, the way she shifted her weight with impatience in that same damn line directly behind me. I remember her fidgets, the way she sighed, the way she played with her hair and the way she walked by me when she left, each movement as if planned to be full of nothing but grace. The woman I had come here with noticed all this and laughed at me for being such a fool. I laughed too. Over a short time, back there, back then, I would see her only 4 more times. Each of these times I became as frozen as before. I didn’t find it funny anymore and neither did the woman I had been there with for all that time so long ago.
Then some years went by. The woman I had been there with left me and I left that place to live in the home of my grandmother far far away, a woman whose first name belonged to only to her. In all my time alive, only she had this name and I had never met another. I lived in her home for over a year waiting for something it took me far too long to realize wasn’t real. So when I knew this, with all my heart, I left it and went to another new place, far away from the there of being frozen and far away from the there where I had waited. Then, right after I arrived here where I now am, this woman of only this name, my grandmother, died before I was ready and moments before her birthday.
Then some days went by. I received a letter of electronic from a stranger on a place where lonely look to cure it. I looked, I read and I saw a photograph with a description of height. I recognized her immediately when I would later learn I was nothing but a stranger to her, I was frozen, again… It was the woman who had been behind me in line, 6 years prior or maybe 7 years prior. I didn’t know how to tell her, I wasn’t sure I should tell her and knew I didn’t want to tell her. But I did tell her, all because she found me first not knowing what I can remember…
I was about to meet the only other woman who shared my grandmother’s name.
The second time I met her we ate a meal, we told each other stories and we went for a walk and a drive. Just to make things. We found the light we liked in the dark. We parked my chariot close and left the music up, loudly. Then I would walk up behind her, place my arms around her and with her forever machine I watched her make her hands dance, just for me while I stood too close watching the forever machine’s screen through her hair as she leaned back into me.
Press Play – Her Here With Feathers In Her Hair
Before we met for the first time, we discovered that we were born just days apart, the same year. We discovered our fathers started their lives the same way. We discovered that some of the same people were in our overlapping circles from lives long ago and we discovered that we once lived across the street from one another, for a very long time. From my old there of frozen, if we were to have looked the correct direction from our doorways, we would have seen the home door of the other. We were this close for that long so long ago, yet I only saw her five times, back then.
Before we met for the first time, I told her, “I’d like to take photo of us, standing side by side, full length against a plain wall anywhere outside, two strangers side by side but holding hands.” During our first time together, she asked me why I hadn’t taken it yet. I told her it was because I was shy. She told me the light was fading and that I better hurry. So I did. I stopped us right where we were. There was a brown wall and there was a place to set my forever machine. I set the machine, got it ready, asked her to set her cup down, pressed the button, walked over to her, stood next to her, held her hand for the first time and I waited. I would only notice the pickle, at my feet, moments before I first sent it to her.
When we met for the first time, we talked and talked and talked.
We would discover that many of our lives greatest and worst moments, had the same timeline.
Sometimes just days apart.
– – –
When we met for the third time, I didn’t know it would be the last.
I only made one picture that lovely night and I’ve already shared it, before today.
I fly a Texas flag on my shoulder somedays but not for the why’s people think I may when they see it. When I am sometimes too early to a place I have to be, I come here. At first because I am lazy, indifferent, it’s easy and all that is nearby this other place I must be.
Inside this place, each early morning, there are many many men. These many many men talk openly and randomly to no one in particular, sometimes they engage each other without direction or purpose because, well, there are no women there to talk to and they have what appears no where else to be.
They are there each time I go, no matter which early morning arches I find myself under.
I pretend I cannot hear it all, see it all, because I do not want to. I do not want to hear it, see it or be one of them. Yet, there I often sit.
Not this day you see, I was leaving and one man looked me in the eye, from his perch next to his many many man brother.
They stopped their talk of His Revelations just for Me:
Saved Man – “Hey Texas! You from Texas?”
Me – “Sort of, but from there, no sir.”
Saved Man – “Where about’s son? I am from Houston.”
Me – “I could have guessed that, tis the way life presents itself to me.”
Saved Man – “[Loud, Rancorous, Laughter]”
Me – “Curry Creek, well, San Antonio.”
Saved Man – “I haven’t been back to Houston in……. Um, I don’t know now, 25 years.”
Me – “I have been there more recently than that.”
Saved Man next to Saved Man, clutching a very worn, large black bible:
“I am from Houston too.”
“I am from Houston too.”
“I am from Houston too.”
This very old man never looked me in the eye and never stopped softly repeating this. His hair was white, his skin almost translucent, his blue eyes nervously surveying all of me but my blue eyes. The other man was with a worn red face of hard outdoor living, a black jacket and perched on top of his head, with him on his perch, was one old, straw, equally as beaten as his face, cowboy hat.
I pretended to tip the cowboy hat I was not wearing and stepped out into the sunlight because I could not fly.
Someone’s little girl once riding next to me in a car, a little girl not unlike one that could maybe be mine, in the quiet pointed out the window and said:
We all laughed and kept driving by a place much like this one.
This day #145, I looked out my window, up the hill and saw someone’s little girl at a similar hole in the ground because this is how much she still loves who stays there. She took flowers, a bag of her things, sat on a soft white blanket and removed her shoes so she could feel the grass on her bare skin. The other side of that grass on her skin, also touches who stays down there. This is what she wanted to feel since she cannot touch anything else, skin to skin.
Three days later, I looked up this same hill, someone else who stays in a hole nearby must have also felt that love through that grass.
It would appear this other left their hole to maybe try and find her. That someone’s little girl’s love was just that strong.
I Am Only Still Here Because I Still Love You More Than This
I need you to love me
I want you to give me your love, I need you to love me.
i wannted to send u my photo long
i wannted to send u my photo long ago, but i was afraid that u dont like to see me. i hope u like it.
Sorry, I hope that last note didn’t come off like me sounding asshole-ish. I realize it could have read that way, but that’s not the way I meant it. I’m just tentative to have given you my address because I don’t know we stand and I know you have a propensity to want to share things. Giving you my address is like sharing a bed with you — you have so much Access to me, and that’s not something many people have. I’m very private in that regard.
I know you understand this or I wouldn’t have told you. I hope you understand, rather. I really want to see you and sharing with you means a lot to me. No matter what strange region we inhabit.
Look me up
I’m a freak in bed and I want to spend the whole night with you.
What are you waiting for, come find me…
I’ve got a crush on you
I thinks i saw you once and i really liked you.