Night is drawn across the winter sky like a cerement, starless and uncanny.
I cannot tell if the yawning void before me is an insurmountable weight or some kind of mercy bestowed by a faraway entity. It is something that I could sink into, something that caresses my body and recognizes my voice while madness digs hooks into my soft places. It doesn’t know how to let me go, and I’m not sure who I’d be if it ever did.
In this embrace, at least there is familiarity. I know the shape of it: the way the cathedral ceiling sky arches overhead, seeming both endless yet not nearly far enough to escape the pull of you. In the vacuum of this passage between unknowable places, endless hallways and highways sprawl, all of it collapsing into the void like a dying star. Beyond an infinite tessellation of doors and angular shapes lie a catalogue of memories ever-enfolding into themselves. Razor sharp clutches of barbs, ceaselessly shrinking, yet never completely disappearing.
Is this what happens? A force bending perception to allow me a view of myself being split apart? I see it when I close my eyes: the spiraling nothing that surmounts all else. It mocks me, calls to me, a primordial mother that speaks of skin and bone, and blood and sacrifice. Always sacrifice.
I know this scene is dreamstuff, but the magnitude of what unfolds before me extends beyond dreams, devouring my reality and drawing me inside.
The spirit that guards this place—the one that wears your face—touches me with your fingers and whispers guiding directives when my waking mind has nothing but silence to lay claim to.
I am standing at the immense maw of a great and terrible machine. A mindless, rapacious thing, gorging itself on the substance of the actual world. I realize this is a vast incarnation of death beckoning to me, and I know that you are there too, somehow.
Across these dreams, you take different forms. Fallen blackbird, great mechanical serpent, misshapen infant, always waiting for me to invite you in, my handsome harbinger of dead and dying things.
And I always do.
My hands are nervous birds, they play the notes to a lullaby for this place of lost souls. This world, shrouded in shadow, too dark for God to see.
Silver, seething serpent.
Broken babe, dressed in red with a ribbon of flies wrapped round’...
You are a changeling, a chameleon with an iron heart. Often, you are formless.
Still…I guard my memories of us. Each one a bitter and final gift, of which I am the sole keeper.
I think of you.
You, buried beneath the earth, in the silent diorama of a cemetery.
You, smiling at me in the reflection of our bathroom mirror, as I watch your face through steam and shaveswipes. The slight tremor of the razor as it‘s drawn up from your neck to your jaw line.
You, in various stages of rot.