The captain is trying to galvanize his troops into action, but they appear to be doing other things.
Jeers to the chokers
Those massive pinions
Who book away from a loom
And those faking the tall
And dripping their sinks
Mare far from their kind
And laze to the prost
Roo cannot heed the maps
Left in the mooin’ of a philosopher’s rind
And those who are dined to bloom
Who think the sight bride of life
Involves everything say thee
And frown the cool
With an empty tar of jeers
And never shelled by hackles
Dancing cling on swifts
Bumming the drum heat to themselves
Out of rhythm
Begin when your best friend tells you that you need to get off your ass and be a productive member of society. Suppose he’s right, flick your eyes away from his face, and turn up the television’s volume so you can’t hear him talk about your lifestyle anymore.
There are bruises all up his side when he finally, finally fucking leaves. His eyes are still a bit unfocused and his arms are dangling helplessly purple-black at his sides. His limp is so horrible it seems particularly fake. There is a gradient of aged bruises wringing his neck and fifth grade teachers would be jealous of the amount of staples holding him together.
He is a boy of seams and stitches.
The boy shuttles himself away at 2:47 AM on a Tuesday. The cold of frosted night is as wonderful as icepacks and he nearly collapses to collect dewdrops with the dying grass in the front lawn
He takes long-suffering steps away. It’s almost an entire half hour, 3:12 AM, when he finally loses sight of the place he’d needed so badly to escape. He doesn’t feel nearly as relieved as he really should.
His steps only manage to drag him into the downtown area around 5:31, and the first place he heads to is Burger King. A stolen $10 bill sits, hidden away, in a misfitting pocket.
He buys the largest possible drink he can and small fries. The vaguely interested but mostly apathetic counter girl with the dirty, dyed hair hands them to him and he fills the soda cup as much as possible. He eases himself into a bench seat to eat. The salt on the fries burns in the cuts inside his mouth and he can’t bring himself to finish the meager amount. The soda gets sucked down rapidly, sitting liquid-heavy in his stomach and anything in there is a relief. He refills the huge cup with water and leaves on half-broken toes.
It’s 6:52 when he manages to hobble to the library. It’s supposedly eight more minutes before it opens, but he whacks the automatic doors with the flats of his palms. They’re supposed to open upon approach.
And then, there he is, the savior, the boy’s sanctuary. The curly blond-brunette-hybrid has average sized eyes, but they blow wide and teary at his visage. The average angelic boy does something with panicked trembling in his hands and the doors open to pull away the slightly bloodied handprints. The ratty boy collapses immediately onto the warm carpet.
He finally escaped. And with that boy, worrying and terrified and crying over him, poking and prodding gently horrified questions at him, he’s finally safe. And someday, maybe, his seams will heal back over.
I can hear alarms across the city. Dents are copious, glass displays are smashed to allow gravel jewels to spill under foot, and hurt gasps break free of their soccer moms.
It’s peaceful, I note, as the building beneath me is evacuated of screaming people. My bare heels are bloodied from dropping against the side of the building. The roof is my vantage point to the void and cracking glass society below.
I’ve changed nothing. This one day wreck will be forgotten soon.
And I can’t even care. Because there’s a subway line somewhere beneath me, and I’ve got clothes that match the tracks.
My hands are caked in blood and dirt and sweat and I’m drunk off destruction and apathy.
I’d wandered up to the top of the hotel in a stupor of hopelessness, grinning as I plucked dishes off of room service carts and strolling through the kitchen, adding hot sauce to their famous cheesecake batter. (every restaurant’s cheesecake is famous; it lost charm) and enjoying the patron’s complaints.
My shirt and pants have been dropped to the sidewalk far below. It’s a little cold and I don’t care.
A baseball bat’s an easy thing to steal from a backyard. Covered in bright stickers, I know I stole it from some young boy and his parents will assume he lost it. They’ll buy him another, possibly better for age, and he’ll be thanking a thief. It’s also easy to smash things with a bat.
I know, two towns away, in my algebra class, they’re assuming me sick. (which they’re kinda right). But those poor academic sheep can’t see how perfectly coefficients become license plates and art history becomes graffiti gossip.
The city’s out to get me. I don’t care; let the world hate me, it means I’m not alone in opinion.
I roll away from the side of the building, flat onto my back. I finger my backpack’s strap (signed by best friends and old crushes whose names just sound stupid now) before yanking it toward me, a little weight in it. I bolt up, and pull the zipper open fast and hard. I stand and run to the stairs, jumping multiple steps at a time, giggling. It’s still too slow though; it’s not maniacal yet. I start sliding down the railings, picking a black shirt out of the backpack behind me and pulling it on. Halfway on, I blindly fall face first onto the ground. My laughter is barking, crackling like static, as I finish getting that on and work on the black jeans I’d brought.
I finally hit the lobby with a bang, bursting through the door and scaring tourists with high expectations.
Because I’m on the run to a subway line, wearing clothes that match the tracks.
The train jerks forward, a bit of grass falling out of their car.
Her heel sinks into the hay, dark leather shoe contrasting the bleached light tan hay. She yanks it back up onto her own seat’s supports before she loses it to the natural flooring of the steel horse they’re riding in.
He rests his heels in the grass, matching leather dress shoes sturdy. He almost dares look at her first, but keeps his gaze averted to her heels, tipping his hat down to not give the impression that he could be doing anything else. He hears her snicker.
There’s a tension in the air, unbroken by the earthquake matching roar of the train from their seats, not soundproofed like a passenger train, just the raw noise of locomotion. They both know this tension, the tension of unspoken words and red lips that glow like the stars wish they could in the pitch black. He knows her eyes like he knows the feel of the wallet he’s had for a decade and she knows his voice like she knows the twitching of his feet denotes the discomfort of the new shoes.
She resists licking her lips like a male lion before eating his mate’s catch. She’d reapplied her makeup enough times today, she thinks. Her lipstick will stay in its full bright red potential. The marks will be left so vibrantly.
He tries hard to master holding on the nonexistent line between good posture and slouching, falling under her whims, unsure of whether they be to rise to her and keep his pride, or kneel to her and kiss her toes like sacrosanct little models of his worship.
She looks at him with confidence, knowing she loves a man who keeps his worth to her, but wants to please her equally. With a beguiling lilt like a speakeasy’s head singer, she speaks to him.
“You may look in my eyes.”
He glances up, relief in his face for a bit of instruction on what to do. He looks to her face, searching into her eyes for what little he can see in the dark.
The darkness of the car is more like a mist than a curtain. It prickles on the skin and makes the whole view vague and blend into each other, like the slurred words of a drunk. You can still see though, not an oppressive wall of black to convince you that you’re alone. Just a soft smattering of light that makes it feel like they can view each other just as well as in daylight.
They’ve never seen each other in the light, only in the alcohol scented fog of darkness.
He’s not sure if he’s meeting her eyes, but her red lips act like lanterns, lighting up where everything should be. He wonders if perhaps, perhaps he is lit up by his eyes, or maybe his teeth, like her plump, sensitive lips light her up.
She would say that it’s his hair, the few strands that escape their imprisonment by hat. They catch moonlight in their opal strands as they hang and bounce. She loves it most when they’re messy, their particular part and pattern abandoned as he throws out his carefulness and diginity.
That’s truly the best part of their meetings for her. She resists licking her drying lips again. She finally meets where his eyes should be, her own half-lidded with pupils blown wide. She opens her mouth and begins with a simple question.
“Are you ready?”
He doesn’t even begin to hesitate when he answers, “Have I ever been ready for you?”
Peering gears cheery in their
click click click click
Time in lines of Roman “I”s
pins pass inch spin
Tree trunk tiles burnt all brass
tap crack clank ping
Please pardon pistons in the cards
huff pant puff roar
But there’s discord in the apple core
click click click whirr
Jarring scars on armored parts
hurt (ow) hurt (fuck)
Airy where did your care go
wail bye break gone
Alarms abdicate their calls
doom dead done drop