One of us has to write if anything’s to be said. It is a fool’s game even in our most lucid moments of passage. Better to admit that we are feeble, tired and pathetic things, no matter where we stand, no matter how time happens to sift. But maybe, maybe I can speak the words to make it stand still.
You tie me in knots, still and almost latent, hushed with anticipation and the heavy weight of knowing. You are the breath of morning sunshine upon my face. Your eyes are like quicksilver to my bloodstream. The Spanish will declare a monopoly on that careless glance, sending ships across the ocean, peering steadily beyond the waves. They will desire conquest and ruin, claiming you for all time.
I want to steal but a moment and make it eternal. As you brush the hair from your eyes, those stray glancing strands, they whisper and I remember what they are saying about the nature of eternity. Eternity is not forever, it just feels that way, if you’re lucky.
The violence of a single moment is startling. It overwhelms the senses, leaves you breathless with fear and wonder. The rain pours and then dries slowly away as the sun emerges. How surreal to be separated from the cataclysm, standing and watching in a passing thought, empty of everything. I never felt the lightning, only heard the echo of thunder long after the blinding flash had turned my eyes to dust.
I need a shot of salvation, a taste of the sacrosanct, to get me through the ends of the day. Those moments when you’re left with only yourself to feel pitiful about are the worst, the need of a soul laid bare for everyone to see. Survival’s the thing people find difficult, convinced of the betrayal of existence.
Western Swing on the transistor: cried for you, cried a while, wandering like a river and the rain don’t stop. The deluge of the moment that doesn’t quite cut clean, that doesn’t ever quite end. The mess of things you just can’t escape. Like the tangle of our bodies, it never had that sort of finality. Life is unexpected, unready as we are.
I wonder if we ever really learn anything as the years drift by, or if we stay rooted in these places we were before, grown so thick and full in sunlight. Now they are cast in shadows and tremors of moments you hesitate to come to. I remember, with the darkness of a long night, those sudden stunning instants of time, of universe, of whatever it is we might be, when I felt like I could understand.
But these things they get away from you, and the cosmos feels irreparably empty. Your shining eyes, your moistened lips, once, once I drank you in. And now to stand here. These words mean nothing, but I will say them all the same.
In A Flash: read a new story every Thursday…
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