Sunday, September 27, 2009

his dark corner

Again swaddled in heat and darkness, his eyes flicker and dim. All the ghosts of his past travels, all the thoughts of his dark partner, idling in that steamy silence. The world is all astir with scent and motion, the mingling of dead leaves and cut flowers, the clattering of trash cans rolled to the curb. But his mysterious mind has faded, gone like a magic trick, lost like the earnestness of innocence. All the earth and all the sky united, this peace will never assemble again.

He tilts and he staggers, panting out his sickened heart, scrabbling for scraps and remnants. His cataracts light in the dim hallway, guided like a moth by night lights and picture boxes. What trail does he stalk, lost in the depths of shadow, hurdling through the maze left of his once sharp mind? The alien twice removed, from dog to animal to elder statesman of the strays, the remotely knowable is cast into memory and still photos. His pacing once carved maps from California, from the ocean to the Redwoods, from Fresno to the Monterey Bay. Now he lingers in his dark corner, running the marathon of fervid dreams.

We all walk blurred lines through the desert, we stroll through the frothing remainders of the moonlit shores. Our paths are obscured, our mementos cast aside, our lovers shed of our sloppy Valentines. We carry the weight of small strangers, the beasts we invite to dirty up our clumsy lives. We love the mirror, we love the moments, we fill our hearts with sand from the wilderness and salt from that restless sea. We learn to lose from that usual bestiary, only to learn that losing is half the work of life. All the rest is holding onto that stupid course we surrendered to in the vague reaches of mythic history, cherishing the lost and the vanishing. The restless stranger haunting his own gamey bones, sniffing out his secrets, only himself in his sleep.

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