Friday, November 2, 2012

past perfect

What of the dust once the mud has swallowed the earth? What of the dusk when the day has burned so bright and slow? The sound of sirens ring the streets, the wild yearning and the empty threat. The pleas of these fresh emergencies, open wounds and the tang of dying blood. Dried black on the pavement, the crimes called out from the contentious pooling, every swarm and mob bear the dense alarm. The dogs dig for treasure, the flies gather, thinking only of posterity. Injury only another name for opportunity. Illness another paving stone on that march of progress.

One day we open up and have become our elders, words sounding so strange and yet so much the same. Lessons spilled into the boil in our blood, the work only remembered for the burn. Muscle memory and the rough and tumble of those ancient curses. The poison always mingling on the sweet side, the bitter best left sifting through every breath. Always future tense and past perfect, the things that once were until they end, the things that will always come one day. The charm of your reflection always in the reversal of events. You never seem to see yourself until you are inside out. You never seem to know until even the wreck is in ruins.

What is left contends with appetites and inclinations, the drift of intuition and the leaning of the map. The world so drastic and unchecked, it only arrives full scale. We guess and bet, declare stout allegiance. We bleat and rut, always returning to earth before it is over. Sold again and again, purity and privation, or blood and indulgence. Written down in nesting cups, folded with-in some suspect skin, the story sneaks right by. I knew it until I had found out for sure, there was no longer certainty. The words spoken to forget, the dogs pause to sniff the air. You whisper but forget to listen. Then ambulances everywhere.

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