MAYHEM - Issue Four
Wuthering Heights (Seven Roads to Self-Prophecy)
mine is a fear of knowing. if everything should
happen for a reason, then all hurts are preconceived sacrifices,
capsized rose petals for the pestle, that which fed too long
on too many in this garden, and my,
my roses bloom wild. my roses sing. they hack my waist to
taste the fissure, loving as the gardener's shears. both
calamities are made in a kind of love.
there are chariots in my lover’s eyes.
and my body is a dock, landlocked close enough
to bear vessel. white flags. a season of plenty. a tear to the tragic
tendency of the too-kind too-foolish type of woman to carve
homes out of her flesh for they
whose lack subsists in the artificial distance, that imparted
between your eyes and the sheets that charter their
truest bowers, his secrets too black to tell you now, a chessboard
of affection’s darker face in his silhouette asleep, or roused, her
perfume on the pillowslip,
no doubt, the stink of where his mouth left her cheeks a rubied
tangerine of trembling thigh and dew, and mine, turned away
somewhere in the ether, in the quiet of cigarette ash and running
mascara, to feign sanctuary in the open sea when voluntary
entrapment is the only anchor for the hands that don’t let go.
we are a plague of weak wrists, rough fingers, arms that
can’t hold flesh in stillness no more than they can puncture
a fistful of time, yet there are moments in the curl of my
elbow about his neck that contradicts the earth’s
ordinance. i hang from him, a living noose, with a mercy
always to release first. recompose myself, the wind.
live in an intimacy of small things and take
back the wild, pretending the hunger is yet the same.
i am a wolf, but i wasn’t born with such appetite.
no need for armour when a wordsmith
has accepted all her nectar, the fire and the flood,
the disease of theoria, to twist the talents of
self-preservation into the same evil she sought to fight
in the first place. she makes a chain with old enemies
in the lace of her voice; that same lazy steel;
doeish coos of silver-backed automation,
wielded at the right flick as all
best knives are, indiscriminate; numbness
is not emotion, it is activity, a subscription to
unfeeling one’s own woe in the certain, innumerable
gestures made to steer ship closer to icecap,
comfort these moth-like romantics into the empty promise
of a veiled flame they will never touch. i will not
hurt you, it says, but i will not let you matter.
and though sweet as a little candle, if given the opportunity,
i will use your hope to perfect my open sprint.
to love you for your pretense, a cross-stitched
visage of practice sewn into each leather lapel
would be to unsee you from the root, that which does
as ever betold a nubile tree maturing in a shock
of season, pose the mere increase of its elysian
origin, that which might be outgrown, but never
we are two cars playing chicken, and you will
always make me lose.
my favourite pharaoh is ramses the great, because
he loved his wife into oblivion, loved her body into monument,
bust, hieroglyph, enshrined her tomb in stanza proclaiming her
the gateway of sunshine. suppose i should project my image
onto the admired, but rather i, the mourner bowed, rather i,
sceptred sonneteer, boasting a love to an unreachable eunoia.
rather i, writing your name across my scriptures again,
trying to exorcise you, funnel your shadow from every asylum
i swore you wouldn’t get to see, though i also call you architect.
i could love you into oblivion, too.
it is 4am and i hold your hand, ignoring the
restless hum of pre-dawn foliage, the
blackbird mothers breakfasting in the
smog of your eyes, black, as the kettle
my fingers ruse to settle your rustling
and mostly my own. she who tried
to read herself into a dependable solitude, she
who tried to learn her way into unhurt, she with
enough humour to see how far wish and
star fell, and laugh into the sepia.
every day brings with it the shadow of departure, and in
their mounting backs is the funeral to old madness,
i am the evening thunder, the midnight storm, the sunlight
breaking at the execution of dusk. i am all night-faced
nobility, mysticism dead and alive, intolerant of untruths,
weak excuses for carnal brutalities and the habituation
of cowards. i am the smoke rising and the barking jaw,
honeyed syllable dripping off fangs to perihelion hymn. in me,
truth is simple kisses of loyal fibres dismissed by age and
all of me is golden