The top has been struck by lightning twice; it is on fire with flame and the sound of their scream reaching out to touch her I feel the sense of urgency growing like a knot in the ground at the baby’s howling: there’s a feeling you’re supposed to have when you know you’re being wrong; when you know there’s something to be done. “I am a mother,” the woman speaks as plainly as the look upon her face. “I am a mother,” she repeats as she watches him fall in relief against a silent backdrop of trees. The flag became white linen wrapped around his limbs now loose, as they become what’s wrapping round the air; children are to be saved at any cost for later use as a means of survival. “I am not holding him now,” she thinks, wondering at the weight she still feels in arms draped like curled ribbons down her side: this strength gave out what love could not, like a stick left poking dirt too loose to take the shape of letters. This is not the way to teach a child how to read nor explain ourselves as better than we really are. These are all thoughts that pass between us and ourselves; between the haze of drifting smoke and an infant’s lot in life. What is hers can never hold her interest long when nothing that is pure and good of heart can speak to god.
The void became the beggar’s bowl I’m holding for a body left bloody on the parapet while I’m left howling: “Fool!” For who’s the fool but I left ascribing blame on behalf of those and God became as absent as the salve I have to soothe my aching heart; when loneliness proclaims the evitable demand of having bet a losing hand against the house that always wins. “I forget you are a mother,” he says under guise of light come in through the window; his ribs cracked from the sound he made hitting the ground the night you walked him through a door over the ice when he’d just said “I’m going to fuck your mother,” to an eight year old boy I tucked away like an impolite remark in order to depart again in a waiting cab. While you, I fold like a sheet into a pile small enough to carry in the night and reassure against half-hearted protest it costs me nothing here to underwrite the pounding pavement, when what lures you forth is worth less than nothing even to yourself; the constant inconsistency with which pursued, desire languishes in the space you leave between your empty eye and an absent heart; you sit raging in the silence shaking torment from the windows as from rugs you’ve beat so thin you’ve spoilt with attention what might otherwise consume the footfall of a tired fight. And who is more tired, he–or I? the one who seeks a dove to burst out from out my ready palm which cannot do without a bird in hand yet claims to love to fly. I make so many mistakes here, positioning the splint that I might as well have broken bones myself in this attempt to heal them; apologize to emptied rooms with words you will not deign to listen to when broken glass lends nothing to your certainty of what intention was but that the edge we hemmed out from your coat was just as well the way not me, your mother made it. The fact that you alone seem to be alive makes it quiet in the tower on the days the traveller’s gone.
Some days no one else lives in the tower, while on yet other days it’s brimming over with parading cavalcades of visitors; inhabitants who would rather knock the walls searching for news than hear melodic and refrain the remnant of what’s gone; it confuses them and her– they know she likes to tell them stories– and some may wonder whether she ascribes the dead a passion better lent the living, conflating objects of desire with the gift of giving grief its second chance to spare her no quarter; rather pin me to the ground but while you’re gone I hear such resounding elegies of footsteps down the hall and voices could be anyone in another room when down the way outside early in the morning other lives will pass us as if our motion made alive the reason we decide to call one person our whole body, when clearly there is more than me inside.
I am waking up again to the sound of silences remaining in the stead of your arriving to abate me what is left now you are gone– I could weigh the presences I’m mourning and place against the flesh that is protesting at the length of days a talisman accounting for the pain; for shame am I thus leaning on the door I find here shut against my longing for the echo down the hall of a happy, hounding countenance; like dogs I count my dreams five cents apiece to carry to the store and trade for candy stale enough to warrant all it takes to bite. Am I to be the living while beheld by eyes I can only here imagine–? in the days since we’ve left burning at the foot of all the stones my dawn must rest upon as if the rushes in the water greet the red-winged blackbird but cannot despite your welcome weave unto a fibre I here lay before the sun– to draw out in its supplication brick does not abide but without can become strong enough to bear the weight I grant to what I know has happened, here– if what desired demands from life the sanctity of sparing us from loss, what now the lesser being who finds his body undesired thus, but still their lot? Instill the pain of loneliness with the value of what’s lost, but ask yourself to question pain from holding all you’ve not.