I drink the brine of dissolved books, gulping and choking like a castaway alcoholic who finds a casket of rum half-buried in the sand of his island exile. It isn't enough that my lungs are filled with the stuff, that it invades my ears and nose. I must be filled with it. My stomach, my guts, my liver, my kidneys. Flushed through my veins until my muscles and fat are suffused with it. Yes, suck it down. Breathe it in. Fill up. Let it invade your blood. Let it make its way into your brain. Let me in.
He lies on the cold stone of the temple, staring at the empty eyes of his brother, staring at his reflection in those fading mirrors. I wanted to kill you, brother, I came to take your life. To take everything. And what he sees isn't incrimination or disgust or fear. What he sees, fading away like petals falling from a flower in the fall, is something else, something he cannot fathom. He tries to ask, but the words are gone, and he cannot remember how to move his lips.
(listen to the thunder, says the poet)
I have made you bleed, and still you do not speak. This is your barbaric heritage, yes I know, but beneath that, deep down inside your black heart, do you not value your life? Do you know value seeing the sun rise? Hearing the wind in the trees? Feeling the touch of yourand their children? Is all of that meaningless? I want so little from you, and yet you refuse to let me in. You refuse me. I can bring you enormous wealth. It is such a small transaction. Just a few words. Just one more.
Can you feel the change? I am no longer afraid. My hands do not tremble any more, and I wonder if this steadiness will betray me. Will you stop me? If you knew, would you hold me back? I know you try to understand. I can see it in your face; your eyes reveal too much. You are trying to protect me, much like your hat protects you, but I am ready. I know what I am doing. I know what you think I am leaving behind, and yes, that has certainly hardened my resolve, but this choice, this final choice, is mine.
All my other choices were made for me: my career, my marriage, this house, you. I was directed. I was an ego-less participant. I was a cog in the fucking disaster of his machinery. Our lives are nothing more than a collision of uninformed reactions and bad decisions. Even these, this spike and line, are poor choices. But they are mine. I am sorry. Let me go.
Yes, there. On the flat edge of the. It bleeds and sinks, falling from Heaven, falling falling falling. Its stain is swallowed by the empty night, and in a moment, the last glimmer of its color, of its light, will be gone. Yes, there. Are you ready? Let me in. Let me hide in your darkness. When the light goes out, there will only be you and I. We will huddle together, you and I. Let me help—
No! I am not ready. This is not my choice.