Thursday, 16 April 2015

The Road

Take something precious, the road whines. Take something overflowing, something pouring from a broken urn, something beyond the realm of the ordinary.
I put my ear to the hot asphalt and listen to the buzz and whine of this traffic of words. Fantasy empties out into language. The road buckles beneath my ear. My body, always living in the fast lane, responds with its own minute vibrations. My hopes are like a still life, petals falling next to pewter spoons; the ghost of a pheasant connects my mind's eye with my body's. On the reality of the road's surface I see a dancing woman on a fully laden table; the tinfoil disc of a fish-eye in a mackerel's head; a stargazer pie for the guests.
You drag your disabled nightmares before me on parade. Here they come, the lamenting eunuchs, Beatrice beating her copper drum, the king's god-cub dressed int he tattered furs of his crimes. You place your mouth against the curb and whisper to me: are you bereft or replete? But your words no longer make sense. I am all spirit now. I am staring into the bright lights of the night riders, juggernauts, moons, bikers. I am doped up to the eyeballs and all I can hear are the road's whined imprecations: take something precious if you go, if you go, take everything.
I see the decapitated body of the stag at the road's verge. I see a thousand black caterpillars unpicking the road's white running stitch, and I hoist myself upright, buckle up my silken kimono, my dreamcoat of cash and crimson, lined with all its photos, its memories of lost loves and orphans. I spit on the jewels and gems on each of my fingers and polish them. They withhold their lights, sulking on my fingers.
You reach for me, about to complain again that he has stolen my life from you. About to beg me to come now, come home, come again. But I am the Queen of Chaos, given to embracing the hectic, given to embracing the emergent. I care no more for you laments than I do for your pleas. I set my unsteady foot upon this shrieking road. I see the musicians with their broken strings give each other the nod to recommence their performance. My head is wrapped in the colours of their music, wreathed in the lemons and greys of G sharps and A minors. I am groping in the dark, shambolic, careening out beyond the empire.
The eunuchs, who have pierced the cloth of unknowing, gather up the black silk of the road and follow me to my funeral. There are books I can never read cairned in tottering piles upon ghost shelves. I see the letters burning in the grate. The words curl and char. I am going. Stepping out onto the highwire. Who knew the road could be this narrow? Who knew it would swing this wild?

The copyright of this post belongs to Claire Steele

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