III.

The woman with sealed eyes wrapped herself in air and light. She made herself a stranger to darkness. When she gripped the taut rope, when she leaned against it and walked across it, she aimed to steady her heart from its fluttering awe. She scaled the length of the bridge dozens of times in a day. She learned which planks wiggled, which wobbled, which slipped and which dipped. She fixed the splintered and painted the plain. When the old approached, she took them, and in her arms, carried them across. When the children came, she grabbed their hands and they skipped that length of sky in song. Sometimes, she would just lay all day in the sun and let her thoughts fall from her head. She liked losing them and knew more would come. She got into the habit of laying and not thinking like this. She liked that the bridge’s boards were so hard and unyielding. She would place her hands by her sides and try to make herself as rigid as the bridge, a hardness above to parallel a hardness below. And the thoughts dripped and dripped. The crippled and the kids kept coming. She tried to help and heal them as she had done before, but more and more her mind looked to the time when she could resume the position, be flat and empty. The habit made her heavy. She didn’t feel heavy, but her closed eyes said otherwise. She would lay and sink and lay and sink but all the while feel the sun getting hotter and the breeze getting harder and imagine being lifted higher and higher into the air. The less thoughts she had, the higher she felt herself flying. Then one day, there was only the bridge and a slight, five-foot-long bump in the boards. Some say she was that bump. The sun and the wind, I think, would agree.