"Sovereigns"

        “If those knives were any good, I’d be dead right now.”

        “Well, hell.”

        “Did you put a post-it note on the painting? You’ve got to be joking. I bought that.”

        “Whatever. It’s not worth much.”

        “Then why do you want it?”

        “I’m used to it.”

        “Get unused to it.”

Our conversation circles the drain.

        “So why, again?” I am face down. He looms over the bed.

        “There was a hole and she was capable.”

        “That’s graphic.”

        “Not what I meant.”

        “No?”

        “No. The hole’s in you. In us.”

        “Ah. That’s better. More fitting.”  

        “Please be normal.”

        “Not a chance.”

Someone scrawled prophet on his door and I believed it. Then there was dust on every windowsill and an acrid smell in the air. Well, there was always a smell, but when you are it, you can’t know. Only when you are no longer part, do you detect it. Now that I’m here and away, I see we are the detritus. It’s our skin, our dead mites, our days, and our nights.  

 

_ _ _

        “How are you doing anyway?”

        “There are these lovely moments when my motion is retrograde.”

        “Was that an answer?”

        “When I’m not sad, I’m not anything.”

        “Now that’s sad.”

        “If he has a kid with her, I’ll slit his throat.”

        “Someday somebody’s going to take you seriously.”

        “Good.”

        “Maybe you should look into freezing your eggs.”

        “Why would you say that?”

            “Because you’re such a treasure.”

        “You’re right. I am. That’s why everyone’s always trying to unearth me.

I’ll tell you this, though. I need to make some changes. Figure out the details later. That’s what people do. People. I should be more like people. They seem much happier.”

        “People are something.”

Outside the trees undulate and wind chimes collide but we can’t hear them. In here, the only sounds are the tinkling of our glasses and our breath forced out by laughter and language. We huddle in the dining room. We’ve licked our plates and refilled the decanter. The county office has issued a tornado warning. A robot, very concerned with our safety, gives us a call. We consider a sky livid with potential. Two cats crawled under the table five minutes ago to rub their pointy ears against any legs, human or table. No one has moved since the announcement. If only the twister would touch down and eradicate this place. But the thunder belies the reality – it sounds damn deadly but the winds have shifted and we are safe in a lit house, with every fixture firing and the ghosts pressing up against the windows.  

_ _

The rings of a wet glass on a wooden table, the memory of forms extending upwards, outwards, pressing into each other, intersecting, dissecting. You can get caught in these Venn diagrams of entanglements. And when you try to recall whether you had a hand in the construction or if you simply let osseous walls form around you, you can only remember the views, but it’s been awhile since you could look out. And about this person you’re with, this person you love, even before a mouth starts moving, you hear echoes down dead end corridors.

        You and I, we’re still inviolable, formless and free. But this moment is blinking.  

_

A constellation can only cover the mistake of its advent and its extinction. This nebula, nascent and bright, will fade in blacks and blues and disappear in the infundibuliform.

Vivified, nullified, a cleaving together, a ripping asunder; there’s marrow in our mouths.

This has all the makings of a blood oath,

and all the promise of nothing.  



Click here to read: Sovereigns

poetryBarzakh Mag