puhpowee

(Potawatomi word for the force that guides the arrival of a mushroom overnight)

words and photography by kenza vandenbroek


To be a bay, to be a Saturday,

To be free is to be alive and unbound by the structures of a name.

To connect with the world I must know the names of parts,

Or un-name those whose names are not their own.

I like the feeling of long earrings

Brushing the sides of my neck.

Swaying caresses, twinkly murmuring:

Gaining affection from objects.

Last winter I wore hoop earrings almost every day

Whose structures say little other than

A very subtle sway.

My clothes themselves spoke of an absence of blue.

On most days I was a Tuesday

Not yet halfway but almost there.

I find myself looking at the clouds

And I find myself, hidden in the depth of them.

I spot a lion and an amethyst stone

I hear the howling pillars of space and they look like wolves,

Moving incessantly into themselves.

This is when it starts to rain.

The drops sit motionless on my windshield and the light projects through them

So that my body becomes a speckled tapestry of condensation.

To be a collection of tiny ice droplets magnetically strung together and held up by surrounding air currents;

To be a cloud, to be a kaleidoscope of sky and rain and all that is alive.

Falling into my grateful bed,

The voices of my day still whispering.

I think about how

I do not know the names for things

That are beautiful enough to remain nameless.

I do know there is a kind of moth that drinks only tears

But I never knew that birds could cry.

To be that bird, to be that moth,

To be asleep and still providing,

To be big and small and to still be seeing each other.

On a winter day that feels like both spring and fall

But mostly makes me miss summer,

A warm wind picks up over the park

Rustling the leaves and my hair.

My earrings sing like wind chimes and whisper in my ear,

The wordless words of object languages

Telling me that everything is near,

More than halfway there.

To be closeness, to be intimacy, to have roots the size of my canopy

To be the wind and the river that moves because of it.

To be animate even when my name does not change.

To live within words and without them, to be listened to always.