Thursday 12/03/2009 12:33:00 AM

The afterward was diminished. By so many occurrences. The dalliant loops. That are skin and expression. Writing her stories in bits of blood. Left behind. On the jackals' fangs. After the beast has been quelled. The hunger has subsided.

It's like I was never there at all. Potent pillows spew their poison sleep. I rest in failed suicides. I awake to stalled dreams. Everything is gone. And the spaces it once occupied are so obvious.

The soft duckling turning colors in our charge. The empty baskets we carry to the houses of the deceased. Each misstep cutting the pictures into her skin. Colorless tattoos. Implicate her skin.

Grandmother in her closet. The wolf. All too comfortable in her bed.

Lifetimes to build these time machines. Hours. Years. Tortoises racing arrogant hares. The needle in the groove. Reiterating that same tired scratch.

A skeleton all time. Deliberately machine. A flesh just the opposite. The truth comes in a cold purchase. A shelter of conditions. We cheat the future. In chokes of desperate skin. We tell our stories in broken contractions. I lie. Pretend I know. How close it was. How far away it is.

I wait. For the world to discover my absence. I count the candies that make up the house. I tease the time machines. With moments of clarity.

As if I am there. Can explain how right such an empty world feels.

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