Crossed knives are a bad omen in the same way loose chords are an asking moment. Finger to an open flame flesh against a bared blade, split second decisions for splitting. I should not taste the nail head, should not press my tongue to the buckle of its pockmarked tooth, see if there is any bite left in the iron, if it will be the last one in a row. Six feet seems like such a long way to tumble. I would look like a marionette with my tangle of strings about my throat. Heart skittering like a humming bird still trapped inside its cage.
Tonight beasts broke loose and rose up roaring, their bright comet backs bleeding light from spectating stars trembling between each other, thankful for the distance. Close at hand we drew curtains, played peekaboo with things we’d thought buried. Only real if we see them.
It takes 725,000 pounds per square inch to transform carbon to diamond. Pressure forces the atoms to crystallise which sounds fragile in truth, like spun sugar, beautiful, but soluble. Yet they hitchhike magma flows, erupt without warning land where they may. The sort of precious men kill for. Rough cut they are still priceless. Polished, they still remember being carbon.
One of the men lifted his head and looked at me as we sloped past the ash fields, and rows of toilers like grey bamboo canes if bamboo was stooped and bent with brittle hands knuckle white against the plastic handled hoes. Her hands, smaller, firmer, sure, came down on my shoulders shadowed his face with fear. An explanation in a classroom pretending it isn’t an excuse claims to be progress, claims to be a new world built on the broken bones of the last. Mothers scream during childbirth. There is blood and pain and sometimes death. We are lucky we are not all toiling. If the old world had their way who knows what would have happened? We are smarter these days we can laugh at the facts that shattered when the world changed. Who know what will happen at the next night rise.
A moment stretched is still a moment. Curled into the afterglow we looked relaxed, yet I felt your hands clawed in the fabric, prepared to tear the seconds from an hour, as if they might be worth more alone than part of a whole.
There’s a sense of her, an echo, in the curve of your mouth when you say certain things or see your father turn, his face so open and like your own but not enough of him in it to hide the sense of her, the echo ringing from your tongue.
Slipping I slipped deeper on every word you spoke, caught up in the letters like giants and their fingers pinioned and pyloned at the edges of my reason, they made a fence around my certainty. Territorial of territory you deemed dangerous you became guard dog reversed. All teeth and snarl when I made to leave. Or maybe that was me biting the hand at my collar…
Always pointed in words and pose. Perfect poise, perfect response, perfect timing. Held yourself above the rest of us. My own feet too leaden. My words dropped like iron anchors through deck and hull. Took the ship down with me. You reached or so I thought when I grasped for your hand. You were simply gesturing to the view beyond.
You. It’s burnt into my memory that open mouthed gape swallowing my words, and the back turned mid-sentence on an answer to a question you had asked only for the slow spin, arm triangled over your head as you scratched your scalp, and those frown scrunched nostrils somehow still flared in a state of confusion when I refused to speak to a man not facing me.
Always just sort of truly set these ways wobble wonderfully, or is it woefully? Uncertain if they’re certain about the shape of the course decided upon, waited upon, debated upon. This is what has been done. So far… for now… Not quite as pictured. A very quick poem before I head to bed tonight. It was my first night back on the judo mat, so I’ve only just got home, but I didn’t want to miss the Quadrille night. Can’t wait to read the others tomorrow. (P.S, I almost think this might count as a political poem… huh… not really done one of those before.)