Sunday, November 21, 2010

one star

I have signed my share of dotted lines, made some promises that I only ever half intended, gave my word when that was all it was. Nothing lasts forever after all. Nobody's perfect, so why get ahead of ourselves? The painted landscapes and their mysterious illuminations. The tattooed flesh that leans hard into spells and secrets. You speak your piece, you settle your bets. You change again before all the words are spoken. You are lost in history and in hymns.

You wake, and the world feels the worse for it. That same set of indefensibles, all the squalid hopes and rapacious errors strung on a line. The dread of the mirror, the fear that you will speak again, hating that too familiar voice. Life is full of choices. There is always tomorrow. Another day, another night, another shallow slumber full of brutal dreams. The sickness exudes, a whisper from the depth of your bones. It is like a plan, played in reverse. It is like a fortune, played to the cheap seats. Everything drifts, and you are lost in the blue sky allotted after the storm.

I sat in the dappled shadows of the scrub pine, staring at any distance I could find. A cheap cigar trailed swirls of smoke into the press of wind, evidence dwindling, fire pushed into the mix. Ashes and flecks of tobacco settled on my tongue, that bitter kiss that is never returned flickering at my lips. The sun casting doubts and shadows, so bright despite the chill wind and the cold that lingers. I was lost, I was ruined. Counting my luck in near misses. Counting all these failed wishes one star at a time.

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