Friday, October 19, 2012

the price of the rose

The skin of dreams still warm beside you, you wake to the bustle and scuff of something other, everything in its place. The world in all its shiftless mystery, wine and blood, bread and flesh. The fierce leaning of each transformation, the shapes shifts, the shadows pull. Thousands of nights and mornings, countless columns of numbers that never add up quite the same. Your heart gasps and stumbles, your gait a hallway stuffed with dusk. Again to the lists and the longing. Again to the busy streets of emptiness.

You wonder as you work your tiny mercies. You wonder as you sift the details through your teeth, black coffee and brown dust. Will the wound ever close, will the mark ever fade? The labor of the unchosen all the more wearying when there is nowhere it begins or ends. The scars slowly seal the flesh, this incarnation so dull and painful. The stars tell their stories, their tongues still and deliberate, their tales lit by the burning breath of time. You are nothing but a flicker, a glimmer lit for an instant, then gone for the entirety of the show. You are always less, absent for most of forever, absent even in this livid skin.

The change is there, though seldom for the better. The change is there, the plastic bag dancing in the wind. It fills and exhales, rises and dashes and is sacrifices on some branch or thorn. Religion makes its claims, the gods cast their spells and tantrums, the world plies its familiar, brutal trade. You bleed in little measures, drops seeped and spattered, the lash of the razor, the price of the rose. Scratched and pierced and bled in flecks and sops. Wounded in these pitiful rituals, the shopping lists and greater goods. Murder comes in blue flashes for a handful, in slow portions for the rest. This is the day, the one that comes along once in a lifetime. This is the one day you always wake to, slipping quickly away.

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