The city streets aren’t safe to take anymore, not since Jericho instituted The Movement. After the virtualization of nature, the population of the world became less forgiving of those who existed outside. The homeless, both animal and human, now suffer sever abuses within cities. The most recent governor of Jericho, thinking she looked powerful in glasses that are to square for her prominent nose and chin, stipulated that all open ground will, from that point on, be covered in steel spikes that run in neat diagonal lines barely allowing a foot of empty space between them. The morning after the announcement, the sun had just touched the top of the buildings when olive green clothed construction crews were out with huge industrial spike guns. I watched from my apartment window on the 15th floor as they zigzagged in tight lines, sending meter long spikes into concrete, never to be pulled out again. It’s been twenty years since they were drilled in and there is no talk of them ever being pulled out.
My Aunt Bea was resolute at my uncle’s funeral. Her black skirt suit pressed and showed no trace of lint with a lilac kerchief in every pocket. She didn’t wear any of the broaches my Uncle Bob had gotten her, nor did she go into the room for the wake. Instead she stayed with my brother and I, in the deep green sitting room downstairs, you could just see the white banister that lead to the viewing room from the couch we were all cuddled on.
Peace is a little found commodity. Something that can no longer be bought from a dispensary. Humanity now barred from the potential of pure peace doesn’t sit well. The anxiety not knowing when or how death shall come seeps into the air. Instead of dwelling on the grey nearing death, they fixate on coloring their lives with how much they can do in their years. How many places can they live? How many people can they know? Their sense of self directly related to how many names and numbers are stored in electronic directories. Screens and projections full of relationships they are supposed to bring color and vibrancy to a life that is mostly spent behind doors, locked away from sunlight and natural colors. It’s a physical thrum constantly buzzing through air ways and to-connected bodies.
The idea that we Are fossils of our own Experiences sinks Into my brain. Like the bones, Of my younger self, Are just lying under
Leather braced heroes labor up rocky levels trying to recapture a runaway princess, who scrambles over rocks that slip under satin skirts to scrape knees. Sneaking into fissures, breaching my home, a single sapphire slip-on shoe, seeking refuge in too sharp cave walls, to hide behind my body, big enough to close the cave mouth. Sword-scored scales dark as mountain shadowed stone, these plates blend into silk-skinned wings that fling me heavenward. She feels safe tucked between pages and prismatic pyramids and the crackling coal of my over burnt voice. We are mirrored but all switched around me, deep rumbles and accidentally singed words, and her, airy stories and sparking laughter. Nights she curls up against my fire-belly, mornings fishing towns for carrots, potatoes, apples and pears, afternoons learning where she can sit on my serpentine neck, evenings of her adding circular swirling words with small sticks of charcoal to my finished folios. Embers illuminate sunburnt vellum, small tongues fire-lick sticks of charcoal spread smoothly across pages, blank spaces ready to be filled with sapphire, ruby, and emerald painted images. Days laid out before us, images of brown leathered blackguards, her eyes, rolling like a bucking horse. Ruby magma from my gullet, that pushes past pursed lips to lick newly exposed bone. When the smoke settles, she still tucks herself between my forelegs, close to my fire.
Ice doesn’t mean cruel, It means sun-radiant walls that Reflect anything shone upon them. It’s detachment. The absolute knowledge that leaving would only cause
My roommate is a siren, Long luxurious water-logged hair And eyes deep enough to drown in. But that’s not where you need to worry about dying.
Guilt eats at my heart For things I didn’t do But had the opportunity too. An aching in my bones That I should be trying harder