He died on the asphalt, the man with the tie. He was gone before the ambulance arrived. We looked at the shirt that clung to his chest, damp with what ebbed from him, and it betrayed no subtle exhalation, no gasping hope. We saw but could not stand to see the crater in his skull, were sickened by what crawled out, the raw monster of memories and consciousness.

Or maybe we felt nothing. This congregate flew in like flies to the scent of blood. Pity; we wanted to think about the horror and the afterlife. But look at the blood, how it unravels bright and beautiful from the thousand hidden spools inside a body, the way it tangles through the streets, knots that trailed past the rusty grating into the dirty labyrinths that sang beneath every city.

The blood stained everything, everything except the dead man’s wristwatch. We couldn’t hear it ticking but somehow, it remained unscathed by the impact that brutally scathed the adorned. Around it seconds were becoming seconds, the din of horns rising upwards, sirens in the east, a voice just paces away. Up and up, until the noise mingles in with the pulse of the city.

Somewhere, a phone would ring. Not ours, we relieved.

Styx and Stones

i leave the revelers
with their mouths of porous light
in the distance
their songs
ascending on smoke
and ash
until there is nothing left
save the memory of warmth
a spot of white
against the sea,

i continue
down the shoreline
where the waves strain and gasp for
another handful of
sand and here the current
runs a little swifter just beneath
the surface
your shadow
pinned by knives and
silver leaves,

i remember what hope meant
on nights like these
an addiction
so dank below the salt
it grips your heart
and commands you to go forth
it means
a safe journey
it means
to ask why
or how,

i want to tell you
it is true
some things
are always leaving
the violet tomb might be curved
so that even as you
chase the horizon
you may return and
find me
here waiting,

good friend,

i will go as well
not now
perhaps not soon
but when that day comes
remember to keep
your heart pointed
towards the sun
so somewhere neither
here nor there
stars that
seemed so strange
to us
will align once

* * *

Goodbye Oscar. R.I.P. 7/20.