Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bereft of Scrawl or Scripture

The loveliness of dawn facing North: green lawn, brown pasture, grey trees, mallow sky, all of it as if emerging from some willing-to-compromise darkness. Or is it that I stand alone on the lip of a great canyon and everything I say is carried away by the wind and heard by nobody? The horses approach: a woman a thousand miles away genuflects for another man: and the last leaf falls from the mostly-fruitless apple tree. You make tea, you forget where you left your feet, the pigs are dead but not silent, and in your dreams homeless dogs renounce your studied casualness. It is as if my loneliness compounds itself with every effort to end it, as if the silence becomes drier and deeper with every thought and utterance. There are no footprints behind me now: mine or anyone else's: both desert and frost-covered field are blank texts bereft of scrawl or scripture. Everything fades: the possibility of blame, the possibility of healing, even the possibility of saying so much in words. For I do not know anymore who it is that suffers nor who the author of that suffering is to whom complaint or cry for redress might be directed. Another log splits in the fire, another heron starves standing upright, and another clove of garlic insulates itself from the kitchens of the soul. The man without shoes asks how he got here while his feet sing from the afterlife a song they wrote called "Nobody Goes Nowhere (And The Lord Goes With Them)." Even the language in which the questions are posed is foreign, like words from a kingdom from which I have been exiled, and from whose memory I have long since faded. So the horses turn away. So the hangman with a familiar face whistles where he waits braiding rope beneath the crossbeam. This fructive Advent, this crowning absence, this dull and plaintive script I yet again am called to edit.

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