Aug 30, 2007

Oh, I forgot: this morning when I was looking through my 5000 pages of discarded material for the Godmother book, I found this old opening, which is long gone from the book but I think is pretty:

I will not ever forget. No matter how much time passes, no matter how withered and old I become, I close my eyes and I am there. My glass heels clicking against the silver steps, the silk dress in my palms, the doors opening above me. The music and voices inside, like beating wings. Everyone’s inside. Here, on the stairs, it is silent. Even the valets have abandoned their posts.

It’s nearly midnight, but you’d think it was high noon with the candles flickering from the moat, the stars shining down like jewels, so bright I almost wince, the light of the full moon hitting the steps and turning them to flame. Roses and orchids twist around the staircase, perfuming the air.

In my dreams I stop. Close my eyes. It is always those moments just before that are the most full. I know what happens next. I take it all inside me, the skin and silk and flowers, the shining silver. The feel of the silk gown sliding over me and the warm night air fluttering against my skin. I breathe in perfume. I think about him inside, waiting.

I step forward, lifting my dress, raising it on either side like a heart, and my foot sinks into earth. I look around and I am in a field of poppies now. Blackbirds flap and squawk overhead, pressing in. Panic comes over me and I reach down, grab a handful of flowers, crush them in my palms. I stuff them into my mouth. I can’t get enough of them inside me, and then suddenly I am underwater. My mouth full of petals, the water streaming in. The steps rising above me and she at the top of them, the slippers like hunks of ice on her feet.