Tuesday, January 19, 2010

the river of streets

What I don't know I divine, from the birds in the trees and the water of the window, from the brittle dawn and the ponderous dusk. The revelations often arrive late, rain-soaked and hunched of shoulder. Nothing beautiful is allowed innocence for long. Nothing true is without its risks and balms.

I awoke to thunder jumping on the roof, a fury that passed without effort from the sky into my soul. The rage settling like a sickness, a shroud that clouds clear vision, an illness that takes its cost in years over a few short moments. So the storm unfurled inside me, adding a dose of gray and a measure of bile. Choking all the words, extinguishing every flame. The rain passed, but inside me there are conflagrations and lightning strikes. Strangers take liberties that aren't so civil, friends act as if they longed to be ritually sacrificed. Once weaponized, it hurts not to lash out, just as it aches to strike.

I watch the river of streets as it flows in every direction, a tide of steel and water and light. All those wants and wishes, the wild boys riding the thick beats, not yet knowing that they are victims and not predators. The wild turkeys of Monday morning giving way to cats and addicts, the rain storm having shed rainbows for distant stars. Life is tricky that way, how it is often exactly what it seems. The gamelan of ancients gods telling their stories for newly imagined ones, the lush clamor of metal and wood, the swaying branches and the scuffling shoes, cutting each new stride from timeless antecedents. The dance of beauty and creation, the dance of ruin and extinction. Every wish ever granted, flowing away in every direction. Mud and kisses, blood and ice water. A witness for every alibi, an innocent for every crime.

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