It isn't the mass, it isn't the gravity. They play their parts, but they don't hold me. It isn't the promise of heaven or the solace of death. No grace or extinction can beckon me towards tomorrow. It isn't this dose of blood, or these battered bones, or this burning ghost entangled in want and words that keep me bound to these lovely hours and wretched days. You are the tether, you are the claim. You are the stranger bound in these dim hopes that embrace my being.
You bear the mark of certainty, painted in shadows and salt. You keep the beat between my heart's gaps and failings. You wear the sun in your revealed skin, amid the sway of your hips you hold the mystery of the sea. You are not the words or the culture, but you carry them forward, paint them with your passions and your denials. That midnight crown you wear, not the poetry but that flesh that the poems ache after, shines in the thankless day. You are a promise you can not keep, a compromise of cast and tatters. We are tangled in these fortunes of flesh and failings. We signed away our souls before there were stars or spirits there to witness.
It is the distance that binds me, these ridiculous maps, these broken words. Skies dull with wonder, my life reflected in breath and sweat. My life in the broad periphery of the sweeping gaze of an owl busy in the hunt. All the smoke and cinders, the shed wishes and sullen kisses, the wanton moon and the dour tide. All of this infernal burning, these haunted branches and fuming sewers, this life of wounds and lusts and transubstantial spatter. I am broken and bled, feeding this illusion of continuity, standing too still too long. I watch the darkness as it gathers. I stare blindly, waiting for my will to arrive.