After you left I ran along the shoreline past the jetties and scattered surfers hoping to catch the last waves. A haze veiled the shore and vanished in the rain. Fat globules of salt encrusted my eyelids and each breath ripped upward from my belly tearing through my lungs. I sank down on the damp sand behind the old seafood restaurant. Guttural sounds mutating to unearthly howls carried out across the waves. I waited there until they dissolved into the sea.
The sky is always blue and the ocean is frothy meringue not a murky sea where in heavy boots you wade past that place where you lose your grip. Your eyes and throat sting with the rush of saltwater, screams fill your brain but not the air. Sea gulls swoop and squawk, perfect black angles against the sunlight. I open my book by Tennessee Williams whose writing I abhor but the edge of its cover was leaning out as I passed the bookcase, Sweet Bird of Youth.
From my window a sliver of moon casts a haze over the water and I listen to the rush of soft waves. Those creatures beneath the depths, do they sleep, dream? If parted do they grieve? Down the street I can see lights from an all night store, a man stands behind the counter. Cautiously he slips his hand under his jacket and takes a long swig from a bottle. A group of young thugs gather outside the storefront. I imagine them harming the storekeeper. Distracted by the young whore taking shelter in a doorway, they laugh and whisper. Oblivious to her vulnerability she sleeps as though she has never heard of birds of prey that swoop down with jagged talons hungry for butchery. I watch closely in case I need to call out a warning but losing interest they disappear into the dark.
Maybe nothing is real, maybe everything I see and hear is all in my head. I lose focus on my outside world and the burn of you stings relentlessly just below the surface. I want to sleep forever not give a damn about you.
A knife blade of coast
line separates us,
the stagnating scent of mangrove
fills my nostrils and the sediment
of time seeps ashore to sink
slowly into porous sand.
If I could I would take you high
into velvet skies where stars
form a swaying Ferris wheel.
Be a comet in my palm until
the night surrenders to the sun.
At low tide I build our castle
in my cove of madness where
again and again I watch their walls
wash out to sea,
this home I have constructed
where no one lives.
photo by Heart
He doesn’t know why she hurts, what she is thinking, he is not adept at examining those fine points best left in the pit of her belly. Her thoughts are dangerous bells, once rung they can’t be silenced. For him the final line is the closing, for her it is profound sadness.
The heart can fall like a suicide
spiral down like the shade of
cold as petals on an icy lake
a flowing grave of dreams
an echo chamber of pain
Let my tongue flirt like
a butterfly among
rather than polish my scars
debride my wounds.
The clouds above are soft and the red earth sighs with the far off chant of natives, pure and natural. Now we are a hard place of frozen sidewalks and rails of trains that rush on like flocks of panicked geese. Their cold box cars carry the forgotten to Portland and unknown destinations where men in fine suits, their eyes lit with cruelty, sit behind vintage desks. We have forgotten the sweet breeze of a summer downpour, the call of a whippoorwill, everything beautiful that begs us to look up.
My frozen window looks out on the ivory banks, its panes bow rhythmically to winters harsh breath. I am sleeping less, roused by wing beats of a Boreal Owl huddled beneath a gray mound of Spanish moss, his clutch a tangle of talons piercing the branches bark. When I sleep fists of cold gusts erupt through the cracks of dried walls breaching my seclusion with dark recollections that vibrate my hemispheres into consciousness . Past the valley, over a hillside, evergreens fill with moonlight and I lie down on a star streaked forest floor beside a gray wolf who is the scent of golden wheat. He watches me through eyes of silver rivers and to our east the frozen sky is crimson.
Most of us have experienced it.
Unrelenting obsession that defies reason.
Denying its existence we shut down
its pathway, deprive it of oxygen,
shiver in the dark only to discover
it thrives on the night beneath
translucent veils that ignite
and inflame the fire of desire.
On special occasions I like to sit at the children’s table. No one cares if I play with my food, push it about my plate, deliberately let the peas slide over the edge. The big table is life, the grown-ups too loud, consuming too much, exchanging secrets they regret having shared. Rough hands grab a breast or thigh, wine slipping down their chin, whores for the most delectable meat. When they are full it is time for grown up talk, educated conversation, try to keep it clean, it’s too humiliating to be asked to leave. They are fine if I sit at the small table, there are too many things that I remind them of.
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Two glasses sit before me. One breathes brandy and a friendly pond of water rests in the other. After dimming the lights, I smoke a cigarette, close my eyes and meditate on the state of the world and why the Dalai Lama always smiles.
I stretch , caress the brandy glass and let my nostrils make first contact with the sharp scent of the spirit, roll the brandewijn in my mouth. When the burn begins pure water rinses down my disoriented tonsils. I pay mute homage to Pindar’s water is the noblest (hydor men ariston). I rest for half a stretched out minute. Allowing another shot my tongue jumps tipsily. I let the glass of water rest.
I lower my lids now, communicate with the jinn in the bottle of brandy: my sweet friend, where have you come from to dance down my tongue and make my mind swirl like a harlequin in spring? Of course there is no answer, I must take another sip, dip my tongue in the pond of fire, then I can hear you sing. ” Master, I grant you free three shots before you’ll start to feel the pain of my company”.
I take my shot, followed by a gasp. My jinn moans low and soft and snuggles up and starts to caress me and she gets wet from tears of lust. I court her with a spray of harvest colors in my voice, red, golden and brown, the yellow and the dark. I relax. “You need more, I know, and I will feed you candied pearls of life”. I like how you touch my mind and how the liquid shape of you melts into mine. I bathe the soft tissue of lips and gum in soothing water while all my thoughts disappear into light blue.