the missed spaces, the missed places, the missed times, the missed rhymes, the missed persons I could have been or will be, the fear that restricts me, the choices that elate me, the food that prolongs, the life that kills and opens and winds up and scares and tears and screws, inspires and heightens and pitches and rolls and drowns and crowns and takes hold of and molds and breaks and pours into and empties and burns.

and here we steal away together


The blue∆dipped∆ravens are coming closer. Day seven of my offering to them. They are watching and listening. And today I am reminded, all the animals are listening.

upside∆down∆girl is reemerging. There was a retreat. She is returning now. She does not need the mask, she has the animals inside her.

l and upside∆down∆girl received together, this mantra,

go in instead of look at

today upside∆down∆girl covered-draped her drawings of herself, with this mantra,

go in instead of look at

The last three drawings, the last three versions of her states of self, they had just one eye each. One pupil each. One iris each. l is wise and focused. She helps upside∆down∆girl, reminds her to listen as much as to look.

upside∆down∆girl deepened her offering to the blue∆dipped∆ravens today, in this way. The golden beads which are from the mother of upside∆down∆girl, they move now from the box, to atop the book which is also from the mother of upside∆down∆girl, and only then, to the window sill. The book which is from her mother tells upside∆down∆girl something each day, in order of the days, in order of the months, in order of the seasons. upside∆down∆girl got confused about the date. She looked first to tomorrow’s words. They read, now the magic begins. upside∆down∆girl believes in the book. It helps her focus, helps her move with the day. Helps her trust.

Upside∆down∆girl told herself yesterday, that today she should go to a cemetery. upside∆down∆girl remembers that this year began with her second visit to Käthe’s grave, to Käthe’s sculpted hands, to the forest which lives around Käthe’s grave.

upside∆down∆girl remembers that her life in Berlin began with Käthe. With her pull. She trusts Käthe. Her first visit to Käthe she was alone. She met the quick∆brown∆birds at Käthe’s grave. And she met the sharp∆gray∆ravens outside her window. Their claws tapped as they walked outside her window. Her nest was up one flight of stairs then. Her windows faced the hinterhof which was open on the left to a street with no cars. The sharp∆gray∆ravens walked on the metal roof of the one story building behind upside∆down∆girl’s nest, where she lived with several humans who quickly came adn went. upside∆down∆girl remembers, knows the tap-clicking of sharp∆gray∆ravens. She noticed. She listened for them outside that window. She felt less scared when she heard them outside the window.

upside∆down∆girl has been clicking when she walks through the hinterhof of her now nest. She clicks three times two-clicks or three times three-clicks as she walks by the ivy which covers the one story building which closes the hinterhof in on one side. When she is in her nest, she is above this building. She looks down upon its roof which is covered in a short-thick-green-red meadow. She does not hear tapping-walking on this roof. When she clicks she thinks she clicks to the birds as she walks by the ivy. She lets them hear-learn her call. She forgets that all the animals are listening.

In the room of upside∆down∆girl’s first nest in Berlin, the room where Stephie slept and drew and drank and smoked and ate but never fucked, in this room upside∆down∆girl met a ghost one night. It was the night after she slid the furniture about. She woke and knew she had disturbed-unbalanced something. She acknowledged and promised she would slide the furniture back. And she did. And upside∆down∆girl thinks now of the hands of the women who put Berlin back together, after the fires, after the bullets, after the killing, after the raping. She thinks of the children playing in the rubble piles growing ever smaller. She knows this is their city too. She knows that they keep it in balance. She thanks them. She feels their hands underfoot, as she climbs the stairs to her nest. She breaths their breath as she floats-pedals along the canal, as she moves through Berlin.

upside∆down∆girl remembers that the year began with l and m and her all together in the black∆hole, draped in l’s golden velvet. upside∆down∆girl remembers how l watched and listened as upside∆down∆girl went into a trance, as she was pulled by the projection of a pendulum swinging towards and away from her, as her body rocked front to back, forward on toes, back on heels, toward and away from the swinging white light. upside∆down∆girl remembers how, when she emerged from the trance l said, you were pulling the pendulum. upside∆down∆girl thought the pendulum was pulling me. They were both, doing both. They are both, doing both.

upside∆down∆girl is still in her nest. She is moving toward the cemetery. She continues with her rituals. She places the golden bead next to the single stem and between three minerals, and places this on the window sill. She has been placing the golden bead directly on the metal window sill. It clicks as she moves it on the metal window sill, as she searches for the invisible divot which will hold the golden bead in place. After the cemetery, after the everything, upside∆down∆girl returns home to find the golden bead is still in between the three minerals next to the single stem, on the window sill. upside∆down∆girl knows that on the other six days, the golden bead was gone by the late afternoon. upside∆down∆girl takes the bead and places it directly on the metal window sill and it clicks.

upside∆down∆girl continues with her rituals. It is time to shave her head. She continues morphing. More asymmetry. She shaves her head left-of-body-center, three-clicks-long. She shaves her head right-of-body-center, seven-clicks-long. upside∆down∆girl moves toward her projection of the wizard∆peace∆warrior. Focused eyes, strait back, strong legs exposed, perked-up-squirrel-ear-hair. No wizard∆peace∆warrior eyes today. She does not need them now. Oil. She smells of cassia and cedar now, during these days of early Autumn. She deepens the oil ritual and adds lemongrass to her ankles and to the window sills. She tells the insects with smell, do not touch me. go in instead of look at. upside∆down∆girl prepares herself for the action of this mantra.

upside∆down∆girl puts on her mother’s sweater and leaves her nest moving through Berlin toward the cemetery. First through the hinterhof.

click-click-click        click-click-click        click-click-click

upside∆down∆girl moves through the door and onto the street. She is scared for a moment. Eyes forward, strait back, perked-up-squirrel-ear-hair. upside∆down∆girl walks past humans and trust-trusts. She sinks into the garden and looks and listens, she does not stop. She walks past humans, on dirt paths, under trees. She stops before a church. She tries to go in. It is locked. She continues to move toward the cemetery.

upside∆down∆girl does not know why-who she is going toward the cemetery. She walks, she trusts. She goes in. She walks straight, straight down a path to Nikki. A circle of Nikki. A statue, two trees, birds, bugs, wind. Nikki is everywhere. upside∆down∆girl cries. You can cry up or you can cry down. Cry-up-happy, she found Nikki. Cry-up-happy, she remembers what Nikki taught her. She remembers the last time Nikki spoke to her, upside∆down∆girl was being a bully. Nikki told upside∆down∆girl not to throw her-bully-words. Nikki spoke of how swiftly the human could run, the human who upside∆down∆girl was throwing her-bully-words at. You can cry up or you can cry down. Nikki taught upside∆down∆girl to be kind.

I am sorry for being a bully, swift∆running∆human.

upside∆down∆girl sits amongst Nikki and the birds. A blue∆dipped∆raven flies from high to lower branches. upside∆down∆girl click-click click-click click-click. upside∆down∆girl listens. She hears clicks behind her. She turns slowly. red∆spiky∆squirrel is behind her. red∆spiky∆squirrel jumps closer. red∆spiky∆squirrel jumps close. Moves fast and freezes. upside∆down∆girl gets scared. Moves fast and freezes. They jump away from each other. red∆spiky∆squirrel clicks fast and loud. upside∆down∆girl squeaks and meows. She called red∆spiky∆squirrel, and red∆spiky∆squirrel did come. upside∆down∆girl is sad she got scared when red∆spiky∆squirrel answered-trusted-arrived. She sits back down. Try again. Be still. Breath.

upside∆down∆girl writes,

I am a mother to nature, care for it, for it is my child, my self, my giver

upside∆down∆girl writes

Nikki leaves and I

Am scared to sit still, listen

Listen to squirrel

Answer my clicks

Have been calling, I did not

Know to who, answers

A human sits next to upside∆down∆girl. Close. Oma sits close. Opa fills the water basin. And rakes the ground. And gives water to plants. Oma sits. upside∆down∆girl cries. Oma sits. No words. Birds, water, wind, squirrel, breathing