Depart (Short Story)

Melissa held the broom at the highest point of the handle. When she walked, the gravity carried the head of the broom back and forth, a pendulum swinging in the pit.
Chatter filled the coffee shop, as women sat with women speaking of women, motioning with a violent, boxing-like fervor, as they vividly recollected on women scorning women. Bustling patrons continually entered and exited, leaving this establishment to return back into the pastoral jungle.
A car came to a rapid halt outside the window, tires screeching on the worn pavement. A heavy thud plagued with the sound of compacting metal echoed for hours, resonating through the small town for days. An old man, crossing the street with the intention to order a pastrami sandwich at the deli, was struck, his cane coming to a rest half a block away in a planter-box, the neck looped around the base of a lilac like a victorious horseshoe shot.
The driver opened his door with a slight push, his feet unsteady and hands shaking with a new-found palsy. A handful of pedestrians made their way to the motionless old man, in an unintentional coordinated march; footsteps of a mid-afternoon procession. Birds perched and gazed upon the man, stoic on the branches of nearby decrepit Cuban Laurel, as Winter’s hand stripped and exposed the thinned arms of its beautiful garments.
The pedestrians, now involuntary good Samaritans, approached the old man, their steps no louder than the soft breeze that passed over his cashmere coat.
“Is he breathing?”
“I… I don’t think so,” the driver said. He ran back to his car to remove the key from the ignition.
“Does anyone want to check?”
No one approached close enough to touch the man. Most observed the acute angle of the bumper’s indentation, encroaching into the inner-workings of the machine, and surmised from there the life and heart of the man.
He did not bleed, which was an amazing feat for an elderly man. He landed face up, his legs sprawled in two right angles, one angling in to the other, and his arms flailed high, as if the Baptist minister just commanded him to scream “Hallelujah!” and the old man followed suit.
Christians, Muslims, Atheists alike prayed silently for the man, looking upon him and asking Allah, God, Jehovah, to bring this man to his rightful domain, as the unforgiving world treated him ill. They prayed for the man as if he, in a Faustian triumph of rebellion, had forsaken God in his last breaths.
Melissa walked out from behind the counter. She was already crying, staring at the pedestrians huddled over the old man.

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I want to speak(no words)

I want to speak(no words)
To give to you–
to give to you from toe to white train
Calamitous afternoons of refracting water disturbed
By swans flapping their wings and flashes of somber light.
And you blink.

Does this translate,
As it strikes your drum and travels to those deep crevices of
Your love-struck mind, proliferating out to the edges of your
Unstable world?
Dying
Dead
Dying goes the whining cello and percussion in the stagnant night,
Calling to us as we lay a lackluster disaster on the redwood floor,
Calling to our aching guts to dance along to its rhythms.

(I am a foolish young man, hoping.
That is the worst that it will be.)

Oh, the love you give is the love you get
Get, got, you have notes strung up
Slowly melting in the sunlight on the windowsill.

The blood rushes from our head down to the front door
Down to the bloody docks
Down to the bloody ocean floor
Where it lays and lays there forever.
Do you not feel the cheeks give way,
For the chronic romanticization of our placid mouths
Enables our self-placation?

I am mad I tell you absolutely mad
And I hope you are too.
The injustice of living outlasts the justices of peace.

Remember the hospice, in your last few hours?
Coughing and coughing I can see your chest rolling
Like the valleys and hillsides of your olden countryside.
Shuffling across a redwood floor (redwood trees that
Used to stand, now they lay, dormant, until we burn this world down),
You held onto my arm and now
You hold my hand, so feeble, so frail, do you need more of
(this and that) the door opens slowly and the man steps through the portal
To provide you with God and then he leaves and you fall asleep.

I stare at your wind-battered face,
Your face, molded, crafted by the sun and breezing sands of your youth
Coming from the West and striking you with its open hand.
Aged, you are, like a fine wine.
You cry tears and I am drunk, bending at the waist
Gripping my knees with my arthritic hands,
Ailing as the viscous hours refuse to pass.

And you sleep.

You are incapable of being blessed by an absence of feeling
Or an absence of your waiting (from here, thereon out).
Crawl from bedroom to bathroom to bended knee
Christ Almighty forsaken thee
We (meaning I and the hired help mandated to grab you by the
crook of your elbow) hoist you back to your cradle

and you sleep.

I speak of you with fondness and tears
Falling, falling like the November rain that caught your lungs
and never let go.
I speak of you with fondness and tears
Asking if you had lived a fair life
and had a fair end.

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Visitor.

Fires in the hillsides.
Raging wind guides it further away from the coast
Towards your house.

Fan the flames with porous wings,
Gripped loosely with ever-weakening arms
In my young, confused hands.

Longer are the days that wane in the sunlight.
Reminisce in the ashen breeze
Passing through my lungs like milled lavender.

Aquatic skies undulate from east to west
Pushing clouds like acres of cotton that
Our hands cannot pick between our thumb and forefinger.

I can no longer discern between March and September
They are both eclipsed by an omnipresent mist, weighing.
We languish in the uncertainty.

If the texture of your dress comes melting
Down to the tips of your shoes in the lonesome hours, could we possibly
Be together
In the whirlwind,
Embers and all?

The rolling train silences the owls.
Its light perplexes nocturnal creatures crawling through the brush.
I see it all.

Dying light comes falling slowly through the cracks of the house
Dust rolls through, a temporal visitor.
You are long gone. You are long gone.

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Hours

Hours die
Stagnant on the placid water
Shouting to God:
“Our legs grow tired!
My mother passed, and my father shall too!
We can never find enough money in our thinning pockets!”

He gives us the sun,
Shining on the lake.

Walking up the mountain
Shivering in the dark,
We call again:
“My skin folds upon itself, and I am old!
My hair falls into the basin of my sink!
I can no longer see her face in the twilight!”

He opens a lilac blossom in Summer’s light.

Falling asleep in each other’s embrace
Casting silhouettes on the armoire,
We silently cry:
“But this will end-
We will lose one another-
This life is all we have-“

He murders the lilac drifting in the breeze.
The lilac tumbles to the ground,
Consumed by the earth
Forever lost and forgotten.

We
Dig up the ground
Display a cross for us to recollect
Fall to our knees and clench our fists
Always asking why.

Time passes
(How long, we can never tell)
Lilacs grow from the soil
The same soil blessed with the still carcass of the elder lilac.

We
Touch the blossom and its vanilla contours
Examine how it is just the same lilac
As the one felled before.

Time moves forever towards tomorrow.
We will start in that direction
Drifting in the wind
Consumed by the earth,
But we are loved.

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Waiting

Waiting for your arrival,
The wanting stars suck in the darkness and expel their soul.

Our corporeal bodies burn in their glow,
Yet I sit and wait for light to bend in the wind.
I wait for them like I wait for you,
A perpetual waiting for you to disengage
From the voices.
Viciously they spit their words of spited reason,
Beckoning you from another shore
Like the devil with a fractured horn.

It took me walking on a cracking road
Breaking in the morning and splitting in the middle
To see the sun we always had.

I see you, divine, wading in the mist,
Your hands curving around your pensive hips.
Bones protruding, speaking,
Muted with great candor.
“Your love, I adore.
Your love I do adore.”

A lovely woman, a waiting man.
A lovely woman, an ailing man.
Let me down gently.
I feel my heart colliding with my heart
Beating in rhythmic tandem with the slow-pulsing hands.
My beating heart, an ailed man.

Avidly patient, I crashed my stalled car in the moonlight.
I depart, soon, from the material world.
Your wailing comes in a different state, in another town.
Your voice carries, but with an altered sound.

My beating heart, a breaking man.

My constricting veins and empty arteries fissure at the weakened places.
Fragmentation has never looked so effortless.
Quickly, it becomes cold.
A door left open? A crack in the seal?
My beating heart, a broken man.

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Question Mark

Your bend-
A curve in your spine;
Unending question mark.

Oh, your heart,
It beats not for me.
Will flutter and leave
Like a bird with tempered wings.

Sweep wilted roses from your doorstep,
They drowned in the river,
Preserved in the stream.

Shake you from my shoulder,
Mosquitoes in my liver
Dying from the toxin.

You live in me.

Useless agonizing over
Patronizing words and
Lonesome whimpers resonating right through the canals.

One day
I won’t be needed by another
by any.
That day will be sooner rather than later.

Different time
Different place.
Drowning on a barstool,
Placid finally. The days, they pass.

Driving home
In the darkness of night
Riding a chariot no remorse,
Bucking and wailing into the dark.

I will be here.

In thirty years,
I will be here.
Without a father, without a mother
Without you living
as my lover.

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Untethered Woman

Untethered woman
Your mind wanders
along slanting riverbeds
Ripeness of lavender purveys images of distance and further distances
Into you,
as your arms reach in a heavenly arc of small triumphs
to ascend-

Your heart
Your unsettled heart
Aorta, Vena Cava,
Veins and arteries crawl through your tender limbs.
Your heart
Your Jackson Pollack heart
Writhing in its frame.
Unsettled
Yet untethered.

Oh do your days pass quickly?
Dissonance between the beautiful East
With its herd of etched clouds passing in a restless state,
and your ideal.
Come to a halt;
stare deeply into the creases of your aging hands.
Abandon this ship,
This decrepit ship of:
level walls
red doors
tipping at the dinner table,
your feet and glass unstable.

May we join one another
some day
When the rivers have been tamed and subside into their drying source
And the blanket of fog no longer entraps you in disdain
And the rapid decline of our cities become decimated without love,
While you still wander
Until the last second;
Countless steps until the last one is tallied.

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Tomorrow.

I am the one who comes to the door
Who knocks
The cold vein siphoning into your placid heart.

Do not ask why
Does one love in the midst of earth-shaking turmoil that
Down the falcon forever curling around the house
Looking for its resting place.

In the rubble and wreckage of the distancing tornado,
Lengthening hours come creeping over the halfly-shaded hills.
Your heart
Your eyelashes
Your chipped nails
Encompass all of you which is you
Rushing like incomplete avalanches hurdling towards the core
Sliding, becoming lesser and lesser as our hours wane on.

Fallen logs on the edge of the mountain
Becomes eaten from inside
Tunneling from end to end
Until we are all our former selves.

Eat-
Drink-
Be jovial,
For the collision is coming.
Our children will eventually be witness to Neptune’s shatter
Blues melding with vermillion stars
Saturating our only sky until we suffocate.

If suddenly
Your heart stops on the red line back home
A few ticks past ten
And your children and your lover
Do not hear from you
As your supper becomes cold and everyone falls by the wayside
I hope
You will see the lights passing by
And mistake them as stars
And find that everything
Can still be beautiful.

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Corporeal Love.

She would writhe
struggling in her form as the stolen breath came seeping from her ribs bending; bending around her beating heart.
Her mother warned her about this moment in her life.
The clock above her above the headrest above the mahogany headrest,
ticked ever so slowly like cold molasses dripping from the four to the five and dripping down to the sixth mark to show her that only ten seconds had passed.
God.
god god God?

Her hips
her luscious hips
we swore her hips were like water rippling violently in every direction.
Toward the stars.
Towards Ursa Minor.
Dropping down slowly to Argentina.
all were witness to this potentially beautiful moment where she loses everything.

This was all just for fun
Blowing the flame from the candle, for its luminescence stretched into every deep crevice and corner of the room
until her shriek killed the moment;
how terrible of her! Doesn’t she understand?

“Ouch ouch don’t ouch no.”

Can you
Lay with her and ask her anything?
She will tell you that she was studying to be an RN before flying to London for a year,
and that she is terrified to losing her baby brother and sister because-
“Ouch. Please. no.”
Stroke the strands of hair upon the very, absolute top of her delicate head
at the top of the fontanel because
She loves it.

So soon?
It’s only (insert hour) because the sun is not up and her arms are
Empty
and the men put on their shirts and button their slacks and sling their ties around the neck like garbs
like trophies
like emperor Caesar dazzling triumphant upon the chariot waving amongst the bodies of the coliseum.

Red doors shut in front of her
She walks to the couch to touch it with her face
Gripping the arm of the velvet couch to find something pure.
Her stomach churned.
The man had left.
Corporeal love, where did you go?

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11.

The crimson doors to
your crimson house
blow open.
Breathe
Exhale as time wanes into you.

This is not an homage.
It is not a poem in dedication,
to your loving memory.
It is a declaration for you:
To abandon your gold earrings;
The rusting metal hoops hanging to your bone-deep shoulders-
Your blooming lavender dress-
Your augmented heart and anemic mind–
In the midst of dirtied streets, cacophonous bells resonate,
vibrations fading within the walls of the shattered houses surrounding you.

Picture:
A face drowning slowly in disappointment and lament.

(Snap)
Confine the widening sky to your panorama
Created in the name of you.
Coalesce over coffee.
Adorn your amber hair with dying ivy.

and you still proclaim this to be your glory.

Anglican chants come from a Heaven held on high.
Angels singing over the plains,
“Gloria, In excelsis Deo!”
Come down to Bethlehem to the muttering streets,
Ravaged with the dark and the poor and the lonesome.
Back bar dealings on bended knees.
We come to thy manger to eat, and to reconcile.

“My body is your vessel.”
Plagues dance from hand to mouth.
We have come so fucking far just to be destroyed
by this?
“Look, do you take card for these transactions?
I only got credit, so this’ll have to do.”

-Dazzling, dancing red roses,
I will Luve thee still, my dear.
Until we realize this is all conditional,
And our time has come so near.-

Bow your head.
Ask for the omens and ah-men’s
so Friday nights are a bit more enthralling.
Open your mouth and let the words come flying out with panicked wings.
The half moon is on the rise with lips shut tight,
until you can count stars with your bare, soiled hands.

It’s the dead of night, m’darling
go
walk
into those glowing lights and pulsing rhythms.
Share your new found glory with the strangers
who will take it for themselves.
Come back a changed soul,
ravaged from the days uncouth.
Wine and dine, wine and dine.
Darkened rings under your eyes
becoming darker while your hands shake.

————–

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