part 10: exorcismus
The afternoon sky in my window darkens every day about four.
The crows invite me to reconsider the uneven ground of our back lot. Undulating as over relics.
Two or three are already out there having dined early. Or breakfasted late.
Get out of Dodge, Pablo. Before they slip the cuffs on again.
But I sit in my room. And I smoke and I write. And I wish I could write that I bear you no ill will, but I can not.
And I think of you entertaining guests in our home. I imagine those visitors going through my things. Committing a hundred small uncharitable acts. Laughing in their wine.
And I should like to conjure up a storm. Something out of the fossil mouths of birds.
A prehistoric brooding beginning in the kitchen, say, a cupboard left ajar. Rattling preserves. Cutlery. Unwashed dishes. Standing in the sink.
A claw hammering on linoleum.
When we first fell upon each other you surrendered your key on on a tongue fastened on the roof of my mouth. I was bent on breaking and entering. Your toes curled when I snuck in through your basement window. Too much in haste to oil your catches. Burgle me, you pleaded, quite beautiful in ambush. The long boned appetites of an ogress.
Spitting down the hall on the whirling hem of a go-go dancer. Upsetting coasters. Distressing appearances. Causing foul tempers to belch. Emerge.
Out. Out. Chasing out loiterers.
The only soul unruffled, my little son, safe in his pen. Clutching his elephant. Painted wooden wheels hurling sparks.
And, oh. Such a storm.
A crusading angel who folds, knots, the pretzel in my fist. Refuses to spare the soles of my feet. As I go marching in filthy socks. Begging for a match to burn it down. The inconvenience of a spouse breastfeeding swine, tickling bristled snouts with one long ring finger.
But the storm I conjure is not perfect. It does not compel you to run for cover. It does not ignite a firework in your pants.
Well. Such is my poverty in working magic twice removed.
When we fuck, in the aftermath of our coupling, I am plagued with insecurities. The sound of whittling. The smell of wood shavings. They scrabble up from between my legs. Blossom in my throat like cockroaches, deathwatch beetles. And the crows are like flies. The hard buds on your breasts, candies. A priest might set a course by their swarming to deliver up last rites. Your long winding sleeve. My impecunious anatomy, by comparison, is a blunt protrusion. Thrashed at by Sherpas travelling beneath sterile ice. I want to throw you down on the bed and remove your leggings with my teeth.
But when it is done, when you have mined all roads meandering back, I refuse to go waving a scalpel.
Better to go bury all memory in a padlocked trunk. Load it on a ruptured trolley. Wheel it several miles to the bus station, one side bereaved and listing.
For this is where it terminates.
Between a police cone and a unicycle.
And the blood from the wounding refuses to scab. It snakes in coagulating tributaries joining at the elbow. Tiny black points when the gauze comes off.
And when it is done, papers are served, I will slouch into a stance and smoke three cigarettes. Buy a cup of coffee.
Watch people come and go, the seams on creased overcoats concealing destinations. Pablo, last of the degenerates.
And when the coffee has gone too, I will get up off my bench.
Inter what remains of a marriage in left luggage. Weighed down with charred silver chains.