It isn't after-shock, it isn't after-glow-- this settled bet upon you. It isn't the mercy imparted by machines or the glory of that final fall. We wander among the rudiments, the forest stripped clean, all the signs torn down. This ghost will wear you like a fever. Like a dream, it will leave you at the first sign of light. This ghost is always named never, something fleeting and hard to speak aloud. It is you when you might least afford it. Empty your pockets of all but rocks and regrets: it is upon you now.
The air is cool like the breath of autumn. The air is dry like bible flowers. All the words you said are hung on wires, all the words you spoke tail you like a kite. You fall so slow it might be flying. You fall so long you may as well wear wings. You fall so far you lose yourself to those shed words and lapsed spirits. There is always less left as the past expands. Those spread crumb of tomorrow, those sparks and ripples all fade. You are what you will be, whatever the calendar might believe.
It is a crown of fire, this trail of tears, this shimmering mirror before you. That last tangible defense abandoned in the midst of another buried night. That failed romance only another murder ballad, another flame subsided. The meticulous instruments left to weigh these designs, the illuminations of ink and petulant bone. It wasn't once like the word, and now the word is all you keep. It wasn't the bride price or the bay, now that the tide returns.