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Precious (Final Draft?)

This might be the one…

I used to love the water, you know.
You think I loved fish before,
but let me tell you something
about how a face looks
as it stares at you from the lake bottom,
as if waiting for you to revive him.
My cousin’s face is perfect surprise;
his hands sway in the water
as the death kicks in.
Déagol, cherished cousin,
he has my mother’s eyes,
that pale fishscale blue.
We are River-folk,
so when we fished on my birthday,
I was expecting presents
that could fill mines, or mountains,
my treasures that would make dragons jealous.
But Déagol stole the present I wanted.
When something is shown to you,
so beautiful
that even the mighty Eagles flee from it,
the thing feels like a gift,
bound in a bow of fire, forever.
It feels like you could live forever,
it feels like the fish
swim right into your belly,
filling it and filling it,
it feels like
you could command the world
in the blink of an eye.
There is a flash of fire
down in that water –
and how the fish dart around it
like stars in the night sky,
never noticing the beautiful
that must be kept.
And it must be kept.
And love is what draws the stars
to the ground.
Love is what draws our fingers,
our hands, our thumbs
to press voices into –
and then he falls
silent in the water.
And now he’s in the way
of my bait and my fish –
and the fish will not bite
unless I grab them first.
You see, fish flesh
melts in your mouth like magma food.
They squish and squirm
like worms in the dirt.
The fish are slippery, and fast,
and they dart around in the darkness
quicker than shooting stars, or fireworks.
There is a shine down there somewhere,
brighter than fish eyes
staring at me from the deep.
He won’t get it. It’s mine.
I dive into cold Autumn water
as my fishing rod goes overboard.
I will love this shine
until it becomes a part of me.
I will cover myself in this shine
so that the world reflects back on itself
and I am invisible
except for my screams of pleasure
that sound like dying,
I will –
I almost drown in the shafted light of the stinging water,
and my present shines like a polished sword,
cutting through the muck and mud.
I surface, almost screaming in watery delight.
I feel my fist aflame.
Where is the shore?
Where can I take this thing, this ring,
catch a brace of conies
and look at the fire inside the fire?
I must find the earth,
I must find a place amongst
the drought and the dust and the shade.
There –
the softest bank of grass against my cheek.
Who watches me now?
Whisper the power to the bugs if you must,
to the tiniest fingers grasping for
I don’t need the boat.
I don’t need the river.
I don’t need my cousin’s hand
waving at me from the deep.
I will disappear into a family
of ghostly shadows.
I will become more.
I will become.
I will.
I will.


I’ve been having some issues with WordPress lately for this blog, and I’m not sure why. But I’m trying out a new plugin that’s supposed to crosspost to Facebook, so… is this thing on?

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I got a box of Mom’s ashes on my nightstand.
The first day of college
she didn’t want to leave my dorm room.
On the last day of college,
her ashes were there when I woke,
packed up with the memories of trees and pollution
and long nights on the freeway,
listening to mix CDs,
hoping I’d eventually find you
somewhere between the streetlights,
a runaway
from the life that seemed
to drain the light in you.
See Mom taught me how to use words,
what they meant,
where to put them in case of emergency,
and there are times
when I break the glass
and there’s nothing there.
Mom kept a Gideon bible
from the first place she stayed in Vegas
in her book closet,
and when I was 15
I took a highlighter to Ecclesiastes:
“To everything there is a season,”
and Mom, you died in winter.
When you’re 19 and naïve,
Death brings not a scythe, or a parasol,
but a sledgehammer,
slamming holes in your dreams
that are shaped like prophecy,
or memory,
or a stain in the carpet
that won’t ever come out,
and I wanted to tell you
that I ran out of words,
that the I-10 is just a fucking road
that goes absolutely nowhere,
that every year I lose one more syllable of your voice.
“No man can find out the work that God maketh
from the beginning to the end;
I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in this life.”
And I want to tell you, Mom,
that you did good.
That even though I’m fucked up
I remind people of the good memories of you,
that there is a love
that even god gets jealous of,
that even I get jealous of that 19 year old
who believed in fucked up, old gods,
mean gods that broke my heart
just as easily as they broke your blood vessels,
just as easily
as I dismiss myself in the world.
I stumble through my dreams these days,
asking questions of the ghosts in my brain,
waiting for you to come home to my subconscious,
looking at your eyes in the mirror
and remembering, and forgetting.
“A fool is full of words,” Ecclesiastes said,
and words are all I have,
the foul things that leave my lips
that you’ll never hear.
I have seen amazing things,
but the most amazing thing is
I’ll never hear your voice vibrate
through the shared air of this earth
ever again.
I have up long ago on the idea that you listened
even though I still talk to myself,
stumbling though the world
with this incomplete memory inside of me,
saying “I wish you were here”
as if those 5 words would cure the world,
as if your ashes would reform
as a beautiful golem
meant to protect me from sorrow.
All I have are words on the air,
heard by birds carrying echoes
to the ends of the earth.
“A bird of the air shall carry the voice,
and that which hath wings shall tell the matter.”
And I used to believe
you went to tell god that she made a mistake,
that you were never meant for entropy,
that you still had words to give me.
“If the clouds be full of rain,
they empty themselves on the earth.”
And if your love is in me, Mom,
then I will empty it upon the earth at every chance I get,
lighting the eyes of the brokenhearted,
and I swear
I will carry your snorted laughter
to whoever needs that smile.
Mom, my heart is broken.
And I know you can’t fix that.
I look at the box of your ashes
and remember the last syllables that are left,
using your words like the fool that I am.


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