Choice: Part 4

Photo by MH, effects by TH

IV

The watch lay where he had left it, next to the bootleg Pogues album.  Some live concert in Bristol, before it had all come apart.  The face was dark, lifeless, until he ran a sentimental finger across the scuffed glass, leaving a smear of brightness that faded like fogged breath on a window. 

Before the fall, the sight of a naked woman strolling through the wreckage as if on a summer beach might have startled him.  He had seen many such sights since, although the shapes had often staggered and stumbled, as if half-blind.  He had thought, the first time, that the fire might have returned, that the moon might once again be reflecting the sun.  They had all left, in the end.  His brother had died, trying to follow them.  Now here she was, marching through the steel graveyard towards him, as if she knew him. She must have gotten lost, he thought, all those years ago.  Only she did not walk like someone lost.  When they finally stood face to face, he realized that he knew her, had known her all along.

Sorry I’m late, she said.  He held up the broken watch.  The way his cheeks felt, oddly stretched, he must have been smiling.  I remember now, she said, how to bring it all back.

Image: Strands by Mark A. Harrison

< Part 3 / Part 5 >

Wrapping Paper Trees

A Triggering – Art by Mark A. Harrison

Another spring poem, from back in 2014. composed while walking homeward on a spring-soaked afternoon past low-rent apartment buildings.

Immersion

Improvised flower vases
and wrapping paper trees
roots like mountains
seen from the eyes
of circling eagles
at once emerging
and settling, growth
and decay, no more
contrary than rose
petals and thorns,
a discordant symmetry:
the cosmic wail
of distorted electric guitar
spelling out the names
of stars and forgotten
background radiation,
pain that verges on ecstasy,
a ringing of celestial strings
struck with the well-worn pick
of disillusioned immortals;

How a stranger’s
intangible yearning
can translate through
the ephemeral code
of electronic pulses
and magnetic fields,
a fixed point enacted
in the so-called past
becomes immediate
present, time and space
erased in an instant
transformed into a perfect
moment of rebirth,
a dagger in the mind
piercing to the core;
it leaves no trace
of bloody injury, only
a shedding of unnecessary skin,
a lowering of barriers
to permit this temporary
osmosis of the spirit

T.H.