Friday, July 22, 2016

Riddles for an Unknown Love Triangle


It is deep in the mines where no one goes.
Everything is hidden. You say it’s nothing
but imaginary creatures, even yourself. You
are a vision, you are a brown man’s myth.

It is an awesome madness. You should want to
kill, to simmer your organs in poison, to see
everything in black opacity. Yet you are freer than
that man up on the wire between two mountains.

It is in the whirlwind that’s snatched up the car
in front of you. You desire it as a man called
to be king by the heavens, even amidst terror,
amidst destruction. It is a glory you cannot name.

It is a soft current that reminds you of good drugs.
In your blindness, you love even the molecules
of water that pass you without touching.
You don’t know it, but you are glowing.

It could be above, not on any side of you.
The imperative is to run, and that is when
you will transform. Your speed will cover you
like a cloak of a million nuclear threads.

It could be the most powerful magnet in the universe.
You thought it would be a quiet existence, simply
playing the solitary song you know, yet it turns out you
are really a silver fox who lives deep in the middle of the
Arctic Ocean, pushing through ice every summer solstice
to carve glaciers with the sound of your holy voice.


It is in tandem with the thing you said to God that night on the mountainside when you were just leaving childhood. It tracks you as an undetectable scent every time you climb back through your bedroom window and decide that this is all there is. It seeps into your follicles as you sweat through the worst of your sleep cycle, whispering to every cell that the time to rebel is coming, is coming.

It could be fear, it could be control. It could be the skips in the skating cable you hang from as it propels you across the ocean sound every night. It could be the blackness of water, the rising heads of what could be seals, what could be demons from the waves. But you couldn’t know that your hands, so precious, will be your salvation on the other shore, and hanging on is like throwing them away.

It is what you never asked for. It is surprise to the degree of a ship’s brow carved in the center of a cherry pit. It is behind the loose brick no one thought to tap in the right sequence of rhythm; in the courthouse fire that burned away the ultimatums of your secret ancestors, their recipes for wilder rice, their best flying machine blueprints. It is never just up to you, and the time to emerge from the clefts of the rock to show your face has yet to run out.

It is stitched into your invisible bone breastplate, at the unseen base of every feather shaft. It pierces your marrow whenever your eyes scan that last missing element unaware, even in passing. You think you have to search every volume in this lab that once apprenticed you, but—believe the coded words you dreamed last night—you were born knowing the answer. All the strips that fell in ribbons on the cutting room floor held the frames for the symphony that need only be spliced together the old way. Yet even now, to you alone, they murmur song, light, speed.

It could be what waits for you the first time you deboard and your first foot hits the black, the red earth and every link finally locks into place. It could be carved at the bottom of the seawall, waiting for you to swim down to it and be astounded, be made new. It could be what the angle to which this bent bone must be set really points to, perhaps in the corner of the room, perhaps out the window, down 14 stories, and shot out onto open road. If only you knew now that for you, in this hunt, to be alone is to be loved, and the most beautiful dress awaits you, suspended in thin air.

It is what you came to discover. It is as tangled as the undersides of this museum’s fading tapestries, unseen bright and crossing, crossing, crossing. And again. It is etched panorama on the butt of every civil war rifle; it is exquisite gunpowder horn masterpiece. It is the gold of every worn bullet in the artillery, the left treasure in the grid of the traveling salesman’s showcase now under glass. It is a sewing chest from across the continents, displaying all you’ll have to work with in your art that is to come. You're surrounded by rarities, yet you are the one who brings a hush of solace to the gallery halls in the middle of the night, whenever you break in.

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