Thursday, November 21, 2013

the sticks and the stones

The light hesitates, the skins pause, slick with the seethe of shadows in that exhausted moment, a single breath and then all the baggage of this shine. The sky is tossed and tumbled, clotted with wispy clouds and gray paint, the sun so close to kissing the rim of this spilled horizon. I go swaddled in my usual rags and attachments, old aches and lost arguments tucked into all this disappointing flesh, the staggered step of another ghost that doesn't know it's gone. I swallow ink, I spit smoke, I shrug my shoulders when the chill sets in. The day doesn't linger upon want or need, it doesn't count lucky stars or shed tears and prayers. Things are seen, things are lost. I don't even pretend I make a difference. I don't even dream that all this material matters at all.

The days drag by with the slick sheen of steel chains trickling rain upon rough gravel, with the machine sibilance of heavy drops of water thudding onto tin sheets from some limb or leaf. An old bone lies in the glistening glamour of the intermittent drizzle, a pale exclamation from the stippled border of dark and shadow. These aches well and spill, the tide of the mind drawn along the skins of things, every word always almost tipping the tongue. I dance and limp along the lines of the song, the mystery best left to its own devices. The ritual of twitch and tic, the magic that the scales of habit allow, the rhythm there in this breath and the rain. The reach and lack and do not let go of this stray and lingering kiss.


All the greens go gray, all the lights go down. The curtain drawn, the winds run riot, these vivid spirits evident in the roil of this restless world. Gusts rend and tear at the flora and the firmament, the haunted atmosphere livid and inconsolable. Caught in the clutter of this wear and wound you witness the weight of causation press upon the emptiness of intent. I wind down the walls around me. I stare at the TV awash in electric light while dogs snore and windows rattle. All that's left just strung together, words and wishes and aches and charms. This is how strange the ancient work of missing you feels, stacked here amid the sticks and the stones. This is the magic of the spell left within you, this fleeting shimmer though I am long gone.

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