April 28: Settled

Dusty revolt; Assassin's lament; The bench

 

Dusty revolt

I thought often about the secrets in the attic,
wondering what was kept from me there;
each time I would glance at the stares, they
always found me something to do: all
diversions, from which my curiosity flourished:
I found that palpable anxiety nourishing, and my
fantasies slowly evolved into a consuming puzzle
that drove me to distraction—
so, one evening when the mansion was silent,
and whoever wasn’t abed was out, my companions
flickering shadows and my guide my loud breath—
I crept up the stairs with a white candle, an ascent
that loomed with pictures of dark secrets and my heart
was fluttering with a frantic, violent crescendo before
I was even halfway up that endless staircase…
…and disappointment blanketed my heart at first,
a dampening that twisted my mouth – simple boxes,
coated with centuries’ worth of dust it seemed—
but in the flickering light as I took a step inside,
that dust began to swirl… my eyes fell on a doll’s face
staring with mournful eyes, then a sculpture with a chip
scarring the nameless bust, uncaring; a painting of
a lotus pond that crept silent glances at me—
the dust was arousing in the giddily dancing flame,
lore resurrected with grandeur, each item in its
proper place – but before I could grasp the moment,
the vision faded, and the dust settled over me,
a relic to join the boxes within a timeless vortex,
a cosmos reaching inside my mind—
confusion stranded bits of my thoughts on islands
that had no bridge between them, and I was the dust—
I was in a box that was as wide as infinity compressed,
and I settled with the rest: a shimmer for a ray of sun,
a stir beneath a footstep – insignificant with
creation itself bursting from my existence… and I knew
the dust had revolted, its protecting blanket a monotone
service that keeps eyes from prying to the vital core,
a doll that holds a malevolent passion kept secret in
times where she sat atop a piano in a lonely apartment,
a sculpted portrait that keeps raw memory alive, carved into
a stone that outlived both his heritage and his progenies alike,
a painting that still had the transfixing power of swallowing
the emotions of all who gave it a careless glance—
it was a pirate’s gift, given to a lover who spurned him,
and now… the dust crept through my veins, changing
me into something as ancient and as permeable as they,
I know the whispers they keep silent in front of the incurious,
their final uprising a stir just before their soundless death:
existence only meaningful as soon as they are swept away,
forgotten gatekeepers to things that ever remain
hidden at the back of the attic,
where the dust settles.

 

April 28, 2014

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Assassin's lament

Born of a serpent’s egg, your eyes peer expressionlessly
over steepled fingers withholding thoughts, the vines twisting
around your wrist tight, to keep the fortunes of your palms
bloodless pale – and as you rise and leap to take me, your
airborne grace is a touch of sorrowful majesty: memories of a dew
fallen from high mist, corrupted into a lethal kiss delivered with
a whisper of fulfillment that lurks inside your hollow stare, as time
slows to a trickle before it stops – my breath labored in your arms—
eyes inconsolable depths that are cold gemstones set into a mask – yet,
thawed for a second into regret for me: it bleeds your stark beauty into
a dark ink pouring over my words to obscure their meaning—
you should have been a blossom of virtue, not a thorn to protect
the disingenuous flock beseeching you to bring them to a safety they
spurned till only my blood shed would grant it; your dark art is
an exquisite tapestry of utmost silence reverently settled over
the likes of me, who stir the choking dust – and no weight clings
to a ledge long crumbled: your heart has been sold from the start
by those who loathe you, demand your loyalty and command my end;
your heart is echoed now only in the lyre’s haunting plucks of lament—
for the irony of a grace of purity befallen only unto my assassin.

 

April 28, 2014

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The bench

I settled on my bench, staring up
but not seeing the stars anymore, for that
great blur that fogs my vision—
I settled here, and a tiny monster hope
roiled in me that someone might notice—
but they didn’t, because I am camouflaged
a feature of the concrete
I am a secret that no one speaks about,
and eyes slide right over me; I settled
on a doorstep, wishing time would speed up
so the cold seeping into me would finally
grow numb – but there is always
an agonizing precision about the weather—
it’s the only constant thing I expect, apart
from never collecting enough dignity to have
to suffer long from a dented self-respect; I
settled on the beech once, but of course, I was
chased off to hide somewhere else:
I was inconvenient
but sometimes camouflage has advantages—
my meanderings are often unobtrusive and
undisturbed – I just wish my thoughts didn’t
stalk me like malicious predators—
but those who do see me? most of the time
I’d rather not be seen at all, if that
is the type of attention I get – I know I’m
lucky to be alive sometimes… and,
sometimes I laugh, because it’s utter
nonsense; then things became a little bit
desperate, when once I saw an old friend
walking by me, as I was sitting there
on my bench – and his eyes slid over me,
but without that dignity, and with that
small monster hope, I approached him—
he looked at me then, without seeing,
muttered something indistinct
and I was left alone again,
feeling spent…
so, I just settled back onto my bench.

 

April 28, 2014

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