Saturday, October 6, 2012

the one I wound up

It must be the hour, all those green entreaties, all those bathwater babes. It must be the season, the chill in the air cloying with the vague memories of sweetness stirring the quilt. All these transitive clouds and obscured stars. The grey in my beard, the clock always counting out loud. I speak to myself, as if you could still hear me. I speak to myself, like I ever knew you at all.

If I ever made the list, just strike a line through my name. If you still remember, I would ask you to forget. We all know the words that spanned those distances. We all know how far I failed to measure. Strike a line through me in bright bolts and blue blazes. Strike a line through me, curses taking the place of my name. It is a conceit to think I could have counted, with what I ended up counting for. Those bruised shadows and sharp invocations. The way bare flesh never weathered those spells that well.

Once it would have been quaint to speak of curses. Once all the gods and monsters only worried the walls in the dark. Now the whole world folds into the firmament, the skies alight with might and blight and terror. Prying eyes and pealing paint. The foundation cracked and descending into the unknown depths. Better to have never been than to wind up so mistaken. Better to be forgotten as the promises I never kept than remembered as the one I wound up being. The sullen tongue, the empty eyes. Teeth too sharp and bones too hard. This graveyard of burnt faith and buried hatchets. The line gone dead, spitting static at so many gathered ghosts. The language of my heart only fragments of greed and betrayal. The one that got away always only the one that never was.

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