He dabbed a sprig of liquid lavender on one wrist.
Then the other.
His mirror gawked at him,
struck blind by such brazen behavior.
The crystal bottle shook as his hands did,
which made replacing the cap difficult.
His father didn’t know.
His father didn’t know about the silk scarves stuffed into a small slit in the upstairs mattress. His father didn’t know about the trips to the theatre district, and the lace costumes she had tried on.
Was there no mercy? No understanding?
Of course not,
this was a man’s world.
There stands time, not as a grandfather, but as a threadbare coat. Thrown on the bed, or the vertebrae of a chair, waiting. Time waits for no man, but birthed patience in the stead of something greater. This coat, a needy thing, rejects all who wear it, particular to a fault. And whose fault is it? Is it he, worrying at the dregs of his morning coffee? Is it she, plucking mournfully at the whiskers of her cello? Or is it the unfinished manuscript, curled against the banister, forgotten? This coat, with ears upturned, eyes tarnished, and smeary skin, it neglects to mention who it waits for. The thing retains glorious roots and an empty tongue. This vain supposition lies misbegotten, its birth not of the womb but of the mind. Can you feel it now, tugging at your sleeves with its dull teeth? Chipping away at your eyesight, a malignant Michelangelo. Immortality is a broken sewing machine, pinned to the eyes of the beholder. I think you’ll understand when you’re older.
She peers through lenses to see the world,
she sees it through fire.
She believes in solutions and concentrations,
an owl amongst pigeons.
But she is kind.
She doesn’t believe in much,
only what she sees through the smoke.
Her vision is hazy, but she is keen.
She puts her faith in the smeared glass in front of her,
a broken pocket watch without a chain.
She renounced god a long time ago,
breathing through her nose and eating the fire that licked her face.
They collided once,
the flames and the monocle.
They destroyed each other.
Are you afraid,
of the games your god played?
Of the red death,
a savior made of meth?
Are you bothered,
disturbed by your brother’s conquest?
By the collared snake,
wrapped around your lover’s throat?
Are you deaf,
falling inside the abyss of your own head.
Can you hear me?
What did the word of god decree?
More like the devil.
The pendulum swings,
as the butterfly loses his wings.
The moon rises,
a saucer missing its cup.
The second hand chases after the minute,
a fox after the hound.
The street lamps buzz to themselves,
oblivious to anything not in their circle.
Dreams have trust issues,
so they come and go.
Attention is the prize,
a bird preening its feathers.
But nobody wins.
a quiet enrolled,
like a carpet beneath their feet.
Knights doing battle,
a malignant routine,
like a dance in the firelight.
Fright laughing blissfully,
a goddess in black silk,
like a cruel winter breath.
Plight looking down at the scene,
a girl in a green dress,
like a summer-seeking weed.
Light weeping over a fallen knight,
a boy with red in his eyes,
like a panicked deer.
And in the sweetest of whispers,
the whole world came,
Safe on a tightrope,
falling from a microscope.
Drowning in a pool of stars,
purchasing our pretty scars.
Writing things on the wall,
using honey and a tiny scrawl.
Forever fighting our mirrors,
slaying those ugly little flaws.
This is how we get our claws.
Like Narcissus of old,
trapped in front of a reflection bold.
Only she dislikes what she sees.