Monday, October 24, 2011

The City ★★★★

I suppose he was something like
a sprite or a phantasm
formed in the dust and earth
of some rural nothing
where beautiful things die and are forgotten
He stumbled and drifted
still a thing of half shadows and misconceptions
until finally brought to life in the hills of The City
where his self was assembled
summoned from the deep places inside
Like the golems of mud or stone
with the scripts pasted to their foreheads
by the ancient sorcerers with their
foreign immutable words
he found himself there
and there he opened his eyes
and there was told how to live.

I know this because he called to me
when I was fleeing from my own despairs
lost in the weight of existing and feeling
in being human
and I didn't know then why I went
and I don't know now why I went
but I did go to him
Unknowing but unafraid
Because the voice was soft and soothing
and my life was not.

When I found him
or rather, when we came upon each other
we did the thing that people do
tentative and uncertain
hugging and laughing gingerly
weighing and observing with sharp eyes and ears
picking out the things we seek unknowingly
and as the hours past all I knew for certain
was that I wanted to touch him
wanted his warmth to chase away the cold
that dug under my clothes
And he asked
What can I do?
What do you want?
And I said nothing.

His eyes were not blue like the ocean that borders The City
and not blue like glass marbles
or blue like cornflowers and cloudless skies
Or any of those things that they tend to write of
But his hair at that time was like my memories of autumn
with fading streaks of gold and red
disappearing into a deep brown
like at the end before winter strips it all from us
I remember it best falling about my face
when we kissed
embracing on the rooftop of the building
of his one room apartment
overlooking the lights in the valley
as I pulled him close to escape
And he asked
What do you want?
And I said nothing.

So he took me everywhere that came to mind
he wanted to dote and coddle
to show me things I had never seen
to have me experience what I had never known
to chase away my nightmares
He shared with me his home and the places behind places
the restaurants and coffee shops
the theaters, clubs, and porn stores
And he asked
And is it this?
Is this what you want?
But I didn't know
and I said nothing.

We watched the fireworks over the marina
him and I and another
the waves lapping at our toes
as if trying to catch us and hold us
but always sinking away
the tide is such a transient unknowable thing
like memories or the beating of our hearts
and he held me, smiling, warm, beautiful
transient and unknowable.

I cannot decide if time moves quickly or slowly
when one has nothing to pin it down to
and everything becomes a dream
a phantasm
I don't know how it moved for those in The City
or for him
but it came to be that there was none left
for myself, to remain, with him
or so it felt as I vacillated, tentative and uncertain
and he asked me to stay
that he would keep me, myself, with him
but I couldn't answer
And he asked
What can I do?
What do you want?
And I couldn't answer
and I said nothing.

And I left him
the sprite, the phantasm
and returned to rain and a sinking in my heart
that grows and eats away at me
tugging at the lining and leaving me raw
and now I know.
I know.
I know.

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