Tuesday, December 6, 2011

unuttered

The moon swells against the fabric of the winter sky, a heavy stone hung among all the still smoke of chimney fires, a fable awaiting some once upon a time. The light slows, filling with the spare parts of the clockwork of time. Haze takes the streets as the sun gives up, shadows rolling down the middle of the road. An ambulance wails onto the block and stops in front of a house just across the way. Some stories know where they are going before the first word is sacrificed. Some stories don't take to telling at all.

Life is a busy place to live, all these scene changes, this obstreperous cast of characters entering and exiting, worse than any Russian novel. Names and faces scratching at the glass of remember, memory filling with slips and slivers, dogs and cats and friends nearly forgot. A box of photos sleeping high in some quiet closet. A song heard so long ago even thinking of it dopplers thoughts into oblivion. You weren't here for most of forever, then you were here, spinning wheels and spitting fire. When you go, all the streets roll up and the details settle, sediment gathering around the flavor of your unuttered name.

We climb that steep hill for the brief plummet back down. We wind the clocks and plant the flags and feast and starve and riot and shuffle. All the evidence never enough. We get cold so we swaddle and layer and huddle. We get cold so we gather and feed the flames. We strive and love and suffer and pass, ghosting into glory or dragging all those chains. One day the sun goes down, and we do not find another dawn. Sirens sound, an ambulance appears. Everyone asks even though they know already. Another story ends as the darkness settles, the lights so bright as the ambulance pulls away.

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