I guess like most writers I’d like to defeat time. I’d like the dead to live on forever, along with some trees, flowers, birds and insects I’ve known.

At some point a seed was planted, and it continues to sprout through my eyes, my ears, my mouth—even my nose (that bloodhound for the troubles of others), which sniffs out jasmine fragrance in late April or early May and then wants to memorialize it, make it live forever on the white page.

Tendrils shoot wildly from every experience—for instance, this afternoon, a ride on the bus—a short journey from 28th and I to 9th and J. At the bus stop a small dark woman with twins in the stroller parked beside her coughs up a cloud of frosty breathings.

On the bus headed south, an elderly man in a flannel shirt claps his wrinkled hands together, shivering; the skin shines a little, the veins crinkle.

Two seats behind him a teenager with Praying Hands tattoos and a gold ring through his left eyebrow winks at the girl across from him, then exhales curses at no one in particular.

Their stories sprout everywhere inside me: vinings.

Filed under: Poetics, Prose, Susan Kelly-DeWitt