She smiles and somehow all the ley lines intersect, the world dissolves in greens and blues, and I am listening to that record, headphones warm and cumbersome, my room dark with promise and want. She smiles and it is that song, fresh and familiar at once, heavy with secrets, everything waiting just outside. The hiss and pop of the needle finding its way into the tune, all the mystery that music will allow, that sense of a journey begun in good health and fair weather. It is a trick that the flesh will play against type again and again. For a moment everything feels possible. For a moment there is only the present tense.
The moment is made of magic, that reactive reciprocity that matter insists, every atom whispering to its kin. Her lip curls, her teeth gleam, and there is that alchemy that endures long past its relevance. The flesh persuading the mind and the heart, the gimmicked clock and the gaffed machine. The truth is stretched out, every point being an ending and a beginning, the blurring occurring between the possible and the probable. She smiles, and for a moment I do not know what I knew. She smiles, and for a moment all I know of the world is that heady press of want.
Time clambers down stairs, it crawls through pipe and branch. Time pushes us on, grinding bone and flaying flesh. We burn and spatter and dwindle, all sizzle to less steak, all shine to less fire. We spend whatever portion is ours, more or less. The world spins on, unencumbered by our dreams and words. Hiss and pop, hush and purr, there is always some song unwinding. Time pauses to stretch and stare, I try to catch my breath. The mystery clings to some plastic bag caught in the branches, it giggles in the light of some star smudged by the wind. Her smile lingers as again I peel away, another road, another story. For a moment I know, then it is again lights in the mirror and eyes always watching for the next turn.