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.