Sunday, July 31, 2011

keep

How long the trail of the day though the day is diminished, how bright that last stripe, that final spark. The world rolls over to warm its belly, the sky curls along the turn of its spine. Crows rise to fly to some distant roost, clouds scatter, aglow in the leaving light. The ordinary breeds with the ecstatic, and so we mark our passage. Day to day, month to month, year after shriveled year, we are marked and noted.

The limits of this dry skin arrive, prickly and abrupt. Hands abraded by rough sand and dry wind, fingers cut and stippled by needle and thorn, limbs burnt hot and tight by the summer sky. Arms hang loose, legs shift on their foundations. The flesh is buffeted by breeze and soil, weathered into the dead memory of these legions of lost days.

There is a dead man singing on the radio, wave after wave spreading his throat thin, rippling whispers across the stretch and loom of creation. There is a ghost afloat on the bandwidth of this mummified memory, a girl caught upon the cusp of a freshly changed mind. There are words stacked above this sentence, words descending down below. Eyes trawl over every exposed surface. Eyes sort every shine and spark. There are lies I long to tell you. There are promises freed that I can not help but keep.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

on battleship hill

It fades like the dream of a great nation after daylight finds it, like proof the whole works were ground down. The new day finding the world full of steam and fan blades, dry towels and intimate tides. The moment drawn down to salt and gleam, all the participant stars absent or aloof. That rush of a wind plummeting to the earth, that notion of sky as a verb. All gone but that smile brushed soft against your lips. All gone but that glance of breath and light.

Where did the music bury its festooned dead? Where does the rhythm arrive when hidden with raw bones? Such a thirst as the soil drying in your throat. Such a thirst as rain returned to myth. Your flesh frank and drizzled with sweat. Your gaze that permafrost of every absolute. History and longing so achingly entwined.

This comes from the other side of understanding. That gulf bridged diminishing so slowly the lessons learned on that road. Skies wheel constellations and bird above our dull grasping. The earth throws stones beneath our sleeping feet. The voice of enduring longing inevitably the bitter dose swallowed. The cry in the night eventually only a haunting recalled. Love strives sleepless, clawing through the dark.

Friday, July 29, 2011

green reaches

It all comes down to that blunt conceit of perspective. I so like those stones passed forever by some river, shaped by only certainties, a fish always on the border of more water. I so lost in the confusion of story and history, lost in these songs muddled in between soul and bone. The words belonging always to that just so moment. The words always so entangled with the tongue.

She speaks to me despite the encumbered distance. She speaks to me despite the unlikeliness of all the savor in the phrase. It is only the romance of the sailor and the north star. It is only the distinction of the starlight and the sea. She is such the conspiracy of all that isn't, such the co-mingling of the wanton improbable and Christmas letter. She is the all the language I was born with-out.

I wrote all these letters so long ago, when time ran slow and love was still another country yet discovered. I wrote all the words when words still lingered near their fledge. Green reaches and familiar trees abound. Someone still lived nearer persuasion, someone still lived close to worlds of wonder. Someone lived loose enough to know it didn't have to end as a lie.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

some farther star

Leave me first that kiss of fever. Leave me all this lamentable flesh. The burn of sun, the cool of night. These stretched pauses of harm and luck. The corridors of rushing blood, the catacombs of shifting silence, the step and the turn and the rigor of the coil. Bleed me to the bone, cook me down to ashes. This is all the heaven I can stand.

It is a sky that first speaks to flying. It is a sky that voices the soul of sunken stones. The afternoon beats down peals of leisurely heat, making mirages out of steel and asphalt. Summer speaking in the shadows clinging to the bellies of stalled traffic, a season revealed in sizzle and spark. Dusk longed for long before its hour of arrival. Dusk praised beyond all measure of its power.

Praise the day and savor the night. Sing your songs through ache and comfort. Sing your songs once all cause for singing is gone. The heart beats out its graceless rhythms. The heart keeps the time until all that time is done. All you want might yet find you. All you need may be lost beyond all but regret. Sickness leaves and sickness lingers. Your life on fire the feel of some farther star.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

reach and touch

Each finger folds inwards, hands full of feelings, every sense a small fire. Both fists balled tight, keeping these settled secrets. Holding these certain truths. The palms feel a flicker of perspiration, the waxy scratchings of skin against skin writing riddles, a message shipped from another form. Hands held out and open, hands clasped against a profusion of prayer, the whole of the world the flitting of fingertips. The whole of the world only reach and touch.

I pour another cup of coffee, gather the cup in both hands, breathe out an offering to the skin of black and steam. I blow and I sip and I set the coffee down. Some days the routine is all in the ritual. Some days the habit is all you have. Steel and heat, light and ink. All of my reasons unfurl, caught in the drift of gain and loss. All these angels placed alight in the gist of catch and release. I hold this portion while the rest flows away.

It is an island where rivers of time go slipping by. It is the selection of the one thing that will not be ignored. The pieces picked, the chosen fields of weeds and debris, rust and rot held close to the staggering of the heart. The flesh unfolds in directed appetites, it finds music in the wastes of want. The fists fail their craft, always beginning to open yet again. Fingers stretch and fan, making much of every little thing.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

the burn

The sky surrenders to a mountain of smoke, the day carved from another ordinary inferno, light mingling with the silty sediment. First it is attributed the fire, this blur of the essence of the smoldering afternoon. Then there is that hint of the diminishing of the eyes. All infirmity echoing in the paint and drapery. All these fevers more than the symptoms of the flesh.

We glean all that the day leaves in retreat, these dull glows, these crass enchantments. Stripes of flame sieved through a redwood fence, yellow fires caught in the greens of trees. We sink below the precipice of someone else's coming dawn, memory clinging to the moments before words. Smoke blotting out the stars, the skin so warmed by abandon.

Dusk comes as the distance between smoke and the bright horizon. Dusk comes as a shadow and a hush. There is no record not undone by language. There is no reminder not hobbled by the tongue. The day leaves only skin and heat, the tracks of our rising and bought fall. This summer shelled with the colors of autumn. This season lingering as burn and flame.

Monday, July 25, 2011

the shape

Don't look to me to show how dark the distance, don't ask me to place the points on all those stars. My eyes cross letters written in crows flying west towards their roost, my sight is scratched by the last lingering shine of an airplane shrinking north. All draw and hum, all sigh and scratch. The roof touched by the swaying of tree limbs. The sky only known by how fast it falls away.

The hour is told in empty glasses. The moment is known in the melting ice. Spilled static, goose flesh. The misspelled and the misspoken, the glass of touch, the stutter of taste. Heat swollen in narrow halls and smug rooms. Time cluttered in the corners, turning into dust and shadow.

You are always this measure of absences, this weight of never really there. The whispered insistence of an unseen existence, the rustle of some mythic fabric, the scuffing of slippery heels. Not so much the light but the horizon. Not so much the word but the way. I speak aloud, or at least pretend to. Saying something, or at least making the shapes.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

no mercy

Mercy goes missing at the wrong end of the blade, leaving only meat and murder. Whole days dissolve in that spell of blame and blood, limbs slick with the work of seeding the world with worms. We have learned to hide our eyes from death only to go numb when its workings are again revealed. We have learned to embrace slaughter where there is no feast, violence where there is no claim. We think ourselves outside the animal truth, and so our gods of wroth and ruin consume all that we ought to be.

Bruises and scars weave into these blunt imaginings, the toll of want and wishing soiling the gutters and salting the fields. Madmen have written your scripture and hunger for your soul, kings and generals who would burn you for reading light ask for your noble sacrifice. All the ills of our lost tribes without the blessings of kinship. All the risks of our endless wars without a victory to be seen. Bodies stacked like cordwood because some long dead lords tore their songs from the air around them. Illness spread because the deep knowing tells us to heed the words of the ancients.

The whole of the world is broken by soldiers and scholars. Priests and poets crush hope and truth beneath their clumsy feet. Faith in the hole in reason, belief in the riot of the unknowable write this dumb history. The lies are told in tics of language, the lies are rote in notions of absolutes. Ideology as idolatry, reverence only in that which is unreal. The world burns down and all that you honor is a promise made to nothing. All this evil because of a contract made with something less than a ghost.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

ran through

We have not spoken for so long you seem now only light and shadow. You pause and the sky tints the stillness in your hair. You sway and the sunlight goes trailing from your hips. These skimmed leavings of remembered hungers, the colors caught upon the greedy horizon. All skin and want and that last hint of wonder. All the words awaiting your return.

You are swaddled in peals of sweat and heat, the wretched press of summer. The wanton liberality of the sun. Those burning blues that engulf the dawn. Those velvet wings of thickened black that swarm each night. Beads and jewels, perspiration and cool water painting the huddle of bare flesh. Stars and diamonds, your eyes caught electric in the changing light.

I wait here as the day burns out. I watch here as the sun falls down. The streets fill with warmed over air, so like breath released unbidden. So like the hush of something very nearly said. The memory unwound, the clocks all gone uncounted. I see you as a series of pictures marking the distance. All the signs caught in the tapestry, all the prayers ran through.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

greet the ghost

I greet the ghost in colors of dusk and summer, the latest shade of a losing streak caught in the shape of grape vines tangled in the pine. The dog in the dark cracks away at dead bone, pressing feathers with jaw and tooth. The print of heat still smoldering at your sky seared flesh. That glance that is the root of all appetite.

My eyes are wiped with the lens of memory. My thoughts are shipwrecked along the stretch of your skin. These lapsed speeches of lost longings, these stilted passes made as a car radio blare. The smell of sunlight lightly salting your hair. This blatant reach of the fanciful distance trawling through your name like fingers skimming the sea. Hunger and haunting clinging to the core.

My face is burned, my breath straining. Ersatz stars beating haloes from my head. Bug spray toxic and wind caressed, I slow and slow some more. The day flees as this ghost approaches, the taste of smoke all the light I lost. I shift on sore hips and back-ache shoulders, spill my tongue toward the complaint that makes most sense. I watch that glow dwindling in the distance. I watch as those thoughts sink with-in sight of your shore.

Monday, July 18, 2011

context

The hours boil away, the world burns out. Midnight is a distant country, moonlight a wish spent on a star. This slow surrender, this endless descent, everything listed and lost. The tinny transformation of digits into language, echos painting the walls with their spit and fizzle. Heart and heat clinging to the empty air.

There is more than these words, greater motions than the dull tides of our philosophies. We make up whole hierarchies, stacked ideas and longings and claim them as our lives. We trade the world around us for the pretend solemnity of these sovereign spooks. Heaven only the smoke of every wasted sacrifice. Hell always this burning of the remembered or the forgotten.

This is the memoir of meat and bone. This is the soul of blood and burn. The essence is only the mass and the matter. The truth is only the grease on the plate. The truth is only the gravel on the road. No more questions, no answers at all.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

the moon in the sea

There is a distant prayer of crickets, a grace just cracked in ice. The last glimpse had of that wanton moon, the first word said in vain. The yapping of the window dogs riffles off the houses, stilt-walks through these rivers of light. You awake at once, remembering no dream. Just one thing certain forever to elude.

The whole clamber of your body mutters, the give and take of nature films or movie chimps. A yawn grown from forgotten slights to the spine. A breath secured by allowing yourself that ease where all breathing is held in suspense. The secret machines and first strike industries buried beneath the skin of the waking world. The joy and dread of all that is possible.

So go the sandwich boards. That apocalyptic picket, that doomsday prophet of cartoon ink. I cut my missives from ransom note newspapers. My speech is as clipped as wings. What I saw I could never recapture. What I foreswore I could never escape. So I preach to the growing silence. I preach to the moon in the sea.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

flicker

The hour burns low, the questions on a boil. How bright the night, how weary this flesh so worn and ruthless? The sky so far and tattered, the moon too high and white. The stars flicker, just common sparks adrift. The wind spills and scatters, whispering secrets lost to the moment. The curtains puff and billow, sails lilting in the filtered light.

The air stills, the room goes quiet. The walls lean in, soft with dust and shadows. If only the heart could slow and pause. If only the night would curl up and sleep. My hands are dry and restless, following some unseen webs, crippled spiders crawling blind. My eyes just pace and wander, sifting through the differences between the surface and the shine.

I stick to the uncertain places. I cling to the world through salt and thirst, through aimlessness and appetite. My skin remembering only by sharp and burn, by itch and absence. Each moment filling in for the slipped soul of the last. Each thought caught upon the flutter of some wishing star. The world gone away, the room as far as I can see.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

blue smoke blue

She sings softly, swaying along the slumbering fault lines. She moves slowly, unaware of the halo crows are painting against the wind or the song that stalks her wake. I see her from beneath this tide of drowning skies, this unblinking dream of distant nations and strange tongues. All the stories trailing off towards the horizon, separating from the smoke and the song. All the lines tangled together and knotted along similar skins.

Some days it is the comfort of the fire, the shared circle and the journey of the word. Some days it is the ritual of the switchback and the cradling of the flame. The whole wide world just wait and wander. The open spaces and the sprayed-on sky. I watch through the lens of burned down bridges. Her spell is sown upon the wind.

I do not know from prayers and presses. I do not know from siren spell or lullaby. I carry the poem and the tailings of dusk. I coddle the spark and the witness of falling stars. The lonesome edge tangled along the border of the night. Those flickers of heaven mingled with fresh ash. Blue smoke blue staining the failing day.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

compass

The mocking bird makes its last complaint along the bitter dregs of the day. It will not wait for the sky to tell it that final confession blue. It can not pause for the seamless dismantling of the smoke. To fly is to fly, to burn is to burn. Everything else is only echos in the green limbs. The reach of want, the stretch towards the tense of the sun.

You are that mystery of flight, pacing the wire above all useful doubt. You are the smell of coconut and sunburn, the scent of high holiday amidst the salt and sand. Dusk clings to your horizon, slip-thin and tight about your hips. Out in the long shadows I watch your remission. In the long pause towards midnight you are all the shine I see.

But this is not the kingdom of poetry, that vetting the prettiest mistakes by light and tongue. The season is grass fires and sudden storms, the streets flecked with dreamers and the under-employed. There is no grace in the feel of empty hands, the grasp of the distance between word and deed. You are farther still than any star, my latest favor and furthest conceit. The night arrives, the doors are closed. Windows open to any breath or bright.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

red

The moon hangs there, unfinished in the cooling blue, that last fruit left bending the limbs of the tree of sky. A dull stone, sinking slowly away from the trend of daylight, falling again and again outside the call of this burdened earth. A fractured beacon claiming more than its portion of sight. Yet another task incomplete, settled on the red side of the ledger.

Claim each chain that binds you, own each blade that burrows towards your blood. The work of the world will go on without you. The work of your life will always be just one more task, just one more try. Worn down by idle talk and unskilled labor, you slow as the change draws down on you. Worn through by bad thoughts and broken flesh, you are surprised you are still standing when the motion unfolds. The change takes you, but you leave what marks you may.

There is no respite, there is no consolation. Every victory leaves you little but alive. There is no room for effort squandered, no room for all these wasted days. The days gone to their graves will not rise again. The moon does not care for your worries, the sun does not keep track of your complaints. They rise and set, their time table eternal from our vantage, their duties ancient and unknowable. Every day there is one day less, every night you heal a little slower. The words fizzle and spark. The ends certain to sort you out, whatever that might mean.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

a curse

I am singing a song I carved from the bones of your name. I am painting the night with flecks of spit and flurries of curses. There is a hole gnawed through the story. There is a ghost burning at the stake through your heart. The weary fluidics of tongue and soul, spell checks of gods and burial rituals, florid portraits of the world worn inside-out. The miss too long by far, that hallowed absence that burns and burns all the words away.

It is true that I am greedy, it is certain I am jealous, taking every gift of yours as sheer theft. The devil of the details, that hell in other people. Glib inversions meant to jostle the tired driver. Silly glimpses of depths never to be reached for, explicit versions of every dull lullaby, a hint or flicker of nothing noted yet again. I admit no courage, claim no faith. That need to promise as much as naked confession of words previously laid broken. That call of innocence that last refuge in spades and gardens. I bathe in these accusations of ill intent.

It is still that vivid gravity of your step and pause, that etching of reach and retreat. Your every freeze an exclamation, your every hesitation a dance. You fall and fall and make it feel like soaring. I sour at my limits, blanche at the weakness that beats in waves. You radiate such honest blessings you are bound to draw down fire. All the guts and gristle of you, all the heaped flesh and red bones of your beauty. Somehow flecked with cinders and dust, I sing your bright demise.

Friday, July 8, 2011

a promise

The question of the day is answered in sweat and smoke. The cool weight of the waxing moon, the sway of leaf and star. The prayers pause, the players change, and the night bares her dark shoulders. The skies fill with wishes, the streets all scuffed and staggered. I wait, as if there was an hour of arrival. I wait, as if there was a time to tell.

The house is still sweltering, the tiny rooms still crowded with stifling air. The dogs pant beneath the oscillating fan, sprawled in the dark. I am marked by heat and excess, tainted in flesh and breath. The open window near me gasps and puffs, the grubby curtains beside me filling and collapsing with the whim of the wind. The cool air mingles before it succumbs, the heat the only measure it makes. I taste the flat rancor of my own tongue, taste the ragged cut of my own brittle teeth. Every moment a flavor all its own, each bitten sliver another reason to spit.

A song plays softly, some sweet trifle of romance and longing, plucked and bowed and sang to precious pieces. A tender sharpness that follows the fault-lines of my heart. A note sung just so, a temblor invoked along hidden scars. A human voice enchanted from sparks and digits, a picture of some terrible beauty shining straight on through. Magic so readily distilled, so easily taken for granted. Love and art, struggle and triumph. A map of some kingdom that seems so far it ought to be on the moon for all the distance I have leveraged against it. A promise so like all the reasons I promise nothing at all.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

bled

The light dwindles in the way it always does, the sun going down and the sky growing dark. The flesh purges ink and whispers, always speaking to the unyielding past. The word and the way, another mystery extinguished, another flame doused. Dusk unravels beneath your native tongue. Night another forgivable sin melting in your mouth.

You are ever the burning branch, the mission of thistles beneath a given touch. You are that bouquet of bite and bloom, that language waiting unspoken, sleeping at the bottom of the sea. You are the stone's throw and the crow's flight, the song that does not end. You are the wound and the wonder, that soul caught on the wind. You are the scar that reminds me how close far away might end.

If the world worked out, I would watch you as the sun set. If dreams came true, I would see you by the sea. Instead I wake to a world full of shadows. I go to sleep on the edge of knowing too much. The die is cast, the play is in motion. It is always too late somewhere in the world. It's all over always about to begin. The night plods on, certain and aloof. You are my latest thought, the last before all the lights go down.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

blur

The sky drains away in a flurry of stars, those blinking hints at distance. Everything sways and springs as the winds sprint through the gauze of green leaf and brittle branch. Tree limbs flay, reaching up in ache or surrender. Eyes blur and water, adding uncertainty to the unknown.

The spent day is measured in smoke and trash. It is measured in breathless hush and disproportionate ache. The countdown and the calendar, recycled digits and no more firsts at last. Sweat slips and trickles, burned skin and a cooling trend. Vision pools in the corners. Vision crusts the edges of the seen. That boulder still keeps rolling. The hill only slopes up.

Time once was I could see past the horizon. Time once was I could see in the dark. Illness and age worry away the old records. The mission that is accomplished is the one I never could attempt. The clock on the mantle grinds away the days. Looking forward all I see is silt.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

little shines

You know the features, but you just can't place the face. Somebody you knew or wanted to know. Someone you had forgotten or wanted to forget. The gift of variation, repeated riffs upon the same old theme. She was the one you always wanted, he was the one who wished you dead. A tilt of the head, a lilt of a voice, some story that sticks even now as some familiar stranger grows uncomfortable with your stare. We are all the same in our uniqueness, so special in so many tedious ways. Most of us learn a part, and play some version of it for the rest of our lives.

She reminds me a little of someone from twenty years ago. She reminds me also of someone else from around ten years later, and then again of a movie actress from the thirties. Memories are full of tricks to treat us with, missteps and inversions, backtracks and epiphanies and all the little shines and fevers found. The asymmetry of a smile, and I believe things about a stranger that are not likely to be true. These categorical imperatives, schema and clades and broad archetypes fill in the blanks everywhere I look. I believe things and scoff at others, and so I play the part I learned somewhere back when time rang true.

Truth be told, I was lost so long ago the original drift is hazy and obscure. I have been lost so long, it is hard to remember even thinking I had a path. Different roles, different stories. Each year a little less left over, each day a little further from the source. Bits and pieces, bites and blows. Another unfamiliar face I have seen before, another name that it seems I have just misplaced. I don't hesitate to start the conversation. I hardly pause when again I walk away. Someone always has to leave. The story always leaves someone behind.

Monday, July 4, 2011

slow dance

Suddenly there is music, though it is not the song that the band are hacking after. There is music, though it is not the tune stepped on again and again. They spin together, all touch and sight. They twirl together, though all the world might burn. They dance together, slow and lush. They do not dance because there is music. There is music because they dance.

All the world can tell, just seeing them together. It is a story of time and struggles, a romance of broken rhymes and tear streaked letters. Those movie story moments surviving the meeting with real life. From across a crowded room to the cross-hairs of the day to day, they have endured, scathed but undiminished. Something lovely lives, entangled in their grasp. Something magic endures in their touch.

Some feelings burn, some feelings smolder. Some feelings are extinguished before anyone knows they were there. Words spill, sifted through worn teeth and busy lips. Words dust the world, chasing after idea and object, making claims and slipping wishes. We say forever, we say love. We speak and speak, playing Marco Polo with the whole wild world. They do not shed one single word. They join hands and everything is revealed. They dance, the music playing on and on.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

third of July

The night is aloof, though not entirely unkind. The air cools from boil to swelter, the breeze finally then setting in. The wind wicks away the beaded sweat that trickles down exposed flesh and soaks whatever clothes that have yet to be abandoned. Fireworks bang and spark, everyone freed from the weight of the day. Every third block is half a riot.

Garbage cans line the street, awaiting their Monday morning appointments with the truck. A restlessness stalks and huddles, ordinary life held in suspense, held in pieces. The squeal of traction broken, the shouts of drink and smoke, that hole in the world that winds through every belly open wide and howling. We go a little blind from the habit of seeing what we want to. Day or night, search and scavenge as we may, something is missed.

It is still too hot for sleeping. Too hot for thinking or for words that release. The water glass, slick with condensation, has gone from ice tepid. Each swallow allows a little respite while evoking further thirst. Each drink another considered effort against the slow decline. Mosquitoes shine by porch light, floating along the ley lines of their naked appetites. Some blood savored, some blood relinquished. Some blood left to replenish the stock.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

a bigger bang

The blue of the sky lingers, suspended above the trees and roofs as the day smolders into dusk. The clinging heat slowly dissipates amid the rising breeze, buffeting the green reaches, casting small benedictions to the stifling streets and dry fields. The tension of an unremitting summer caught in the wind.

I lean back, awash in smoke and indirect light, that severed halo of the horizon still casting spells and long shadows into the road. Sweat and ash and insect repellent mingle on my sun-burned skin. The dusk hovers, prowling the eaves and doorways. The day in retreat and night beginning its hunt, the clear sky fills with swarms and flocks. It is the hour of many feedings and more appetites. I swallow some whiskey, draw long on a good cigar. A satellite makes its way across the dimming firmament, another traveller on the cusp of night.

Fireworks resound in the near distance, the hiss and booms mingling with the rising tide of canine outrage. Another round of candidates for the antecedent for the season's first grass fire. A California summer is always tinged with a little too much smoke. The night bears down with all its indifferent strength, swallowing everything in sight. I finish the cigar and the bourbon, rousing the old dog asleep at my side. The constellations chart their usual courses, adrift amid the consequences of some significantly bigger bang.

Friday, July 1, 2011

spider light

The spider rises, floating on a slip of light. Into the hum above, the sea of fluorescence a-shimmer, the whole of heaven the rules of fluidics on fire. The expanse is not greatest between sight and thing, but hinged upon that distance between seeing and being. Not the realization of the possibility, but the awareness of the odds. It rises into the visible stripe of shapely light, an action in silhouette, a star of unburned sticks. Destiny the scissor-work of the numbers adding up.

How to unlearn then the rigorous tread of history? How to know the dream with the hapless wet-work of all that is? All the stars visible through the ceiling, all the shadows that mouth and maul. Just stretch until the record turns over, reach above those crackling dispatches buried in the spine. Only frayed rope and a flayed grip, flesh torn from holding on so long. The last thread grasped the only strand that matters. The shiny line of silk all the world as witnessed.

There you are, aglow in these dim glimmers. There you are, the only light I find. You hold the horizon line, you dispatch the blind night, hold tight the razor of the ravaged tide. In the pagan stillness your name just brushes my lips, dusts the tip of my tongue. An invocation pressed from the tread of prayer, a grace carved from the timbers of the earth. Even now I clear my throat, I whisper. Your name the only word that is certain.