Sunday, January 20, 2008

The walls began to collapse. The sun screeched as it hurtled down from the sky, a giant weight that caused a flood and then a drought. Her skull cracked in three places from the pressure. Clean, white bone stuck out from the crook of her jaw, the inside corner of her right eye, behind her ears.

He sat beside her, in the closet that held her dolls and dresses. He stroked her arm, lifeless now. He petted her flaxen hair. He smoothed down her blue dress and retied the ballet slippers she had refused to take off since she had begun ballet lessons nearly three weeks ago.

His cracked lips were covered in dried blood and spit. The water supply had been dwindling at best and now he had completely run dry. Yet he couldn’t stop licking his sore lips, he even bit and tore at them like a panicked dog trying to chew off his own leg to get out of a bear trap.

There was a small lamp in the closet with a pink shade that gave the closet light. As he chewed his lips, the boy slipped a comic from under him and flipped a couple pages. In the light, he read:

“Where did we leave off, Victoria? Oh. Wait, here we are. Remember this? The Justice League was repelling an invasion. The warring leaders of the planet Appellax…”

In the dim light he continued to read to his sister, reading to stay awake, reading to keep calm, reading because it was something his mother had done only days ago; a bedtime ritual.

As the small boy read to his dead sister in the closet of their house where the walls were stacked like cards, the sun dipped into the great, blue sky like a careless youth at his favoured lake, diving headlong into the murky beyond.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

The night dripped long as a shadow across his back. Dark claws that hung poised to stitched shoulder blades.

“Quiet,” she said. “The night is harsh. It draws blood from your flesh, sucks marrow from your bones.”


She reached out from her spot in the doorframe and tugged the shadow from his shoulders. She said, “Come inside with me, where it’s warm. Your soul is weary and your fingers have memorized this map. Come inside, where things will never change, where the world cannot reach you. Here the route is familiar and the purpose clear. Be satisfied.”

“Don’t…,” he repeated.

“Please -”

He grabbed back the shadows that had collected in her gripped fist and replied coldly, “We never had… we never had that. Don’t you -” He paused, pushing down his boiling rage. “Don’t you dare think we ever had that! It was never love.”

She stepped back into the tiny house they had shared, tripping over a step and falling on the worn welcome mat they had found, secondhand.

He turned back and started walking towards the waiting night. “It was never enough.”

She tried to run after him, but kept tripping over the shadows, down the steps that led up to their little house. Her body contorting and her bones snapping as she fell. And then her cries stopped as her head hit the ground. Silence except for the sound of the shadows creeping up from the sewers, crawling from dark alleyways, to cover her body where she lay.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The bridge of your nose.
Tiny spiders across my thighs.
Imprints of baby ghosts' breath
Trailing down my stomach.

All the memories I couldn't place.
Couldn't hide in a shoebox
At the end of my bed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

His eyes are soft, contrasting with the sharp angled stars. The cruel night sky; vast in its emptiness. Tired. And his drowning eyes, petal lips, tousled blond hair that rested gently on the top of his ears.

It was a night that mocked her lack of loyalty; a night that stole her secrets and spilled them across the milky sky. The dark spaces between the stars were laughing. The moon was a knife gutting her stomach and shelling it clean. She bent over, heavy with gravity, covering her mouth to stop the words. She grinded her teeth against ‘I’m sorry.’ She pressed a hard finger to stop ‘This can’t last.’ She shoved the ‘ands’ and ‘buts’ and ‘yous’ and ‘mes’ down her throat. They filled the hollow space in her lungs, crowding her breath. She let them settle and tried to breathe out the commas, the periods, the spaces in between the letters, and lastly, the hesitation. The night was still, unnervingly so.

His eyes bled concern but his hand stayed loose on hers. Her fingers wrapped tighter around his palm before letting go completely. Blaming it on the cold, she forced her hand into the tight pocket of her jeans.

Without looking at her he asked,“What’s up?”

How casual he could be when walls were breaking down.

Her stitched up lips couldn’t stretch past the silence. The words would tumble out; weighted down bricks. It was easier, in the end, to say nothing. Let the night sky speak for her. She looked up and waited for him to do the same.

The harsh surrealism of great novelists came to her mind then. She thought of how each defined his “true world”, existentialism, journeying into a great beyond. She thought of Marlow and Kurtz. She thought of how “Every man kills the thing he loves.” It was a quote she remembered by Oscar Wilde. She wondered if that was the same for women. Yet she found herself still needing him, unable to say unspoken words that rested on the crook of her ribcage. Or maybe it was a syndrome like keeping a butterfly under glass for its beauty. To have something you can’t let go of, but yet can’t release. Its captivating beauty captured. Although it never works out in the end. The creature learns or is forced to accept death. And the capturer ends up worse off than before. The old cliché, “If I can’t have it, no one can.” So perhaps, she thought, it is true that ‘every man kills the thing he loves’.

And he was beautiful and he was hers. Here, tonight. He was hers. She didn’t want to be the one to kill him. Rather, she felt the necessity to, before he killed her. Like mothers that ate their own. Was it fear? Necessity? Or something more? Something deeper and primal? Instinct? Darwinist?

She shivered and dug her boots deeper into snow, pushed her hands deeper into her jeans. He had stopped waiting for her answer. His fingers played with the car keys in his coat pocket and his restlessness showed in his constant shifting of his feet and eyes. She sighed and mapped out constellations in her mind. Wondering if it was a web she was weaving, sewing up the scattered pieces to make a bigger picture. And the string was fragile, delicate, threatening to break with a gust of wind or the dwindling of her imagination.

There was more space between their bodies than in the whole universe. She tried to speak but the flow of words was caught by the wind, the vacuum of entirety, a black hole between them that she couldn’t cross without losing herself. And would he dare to cross it, to walk on the bending string, the tangled web, to release her from the glass she was trapped under that was his wavering love? Or would he increase the lengthening space and by doing so, kill what he once loved?

She raised her eyes again to the sky. The tiny stars grinned back at her, knowing.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Dust the sand from your eyelids.
The crooked painting on the wall.
Your transparent paper hands.
The incessant longing.