This city keeps its own. The people here may die, but never truly leave; we are preserved with every cigarette inhalation of formaldehyde, every intoxicated exhalation of alcohol and ammonia. Each ingested breath of poison preserves another layer of our flesh, like mummies in a catacomb of glass and steel, huddled around our little flames in paupers’ graves. We shrivel, harden, turn to leather and dried bone encasing soft organs shrunk to black stones, but the city will never allow us to dissolve into dust and escape on an errant breeze. This is our eternity, spent clutching at our hearts in rigor mortise while the world stares in passing.
What do I want?
I want revenge. I want absolution. I want nothing. I want to be worthy. I want to unravel this world. I want choice. I want release. I want revolution. I want to wake the dreamers with gunpowder and flame. I want to feel nothing. I want to sow sanctuary’s ruins with salt. I want to break from this cycle. I want to lay a wasteland in my wake. I want to covet and possess. I want to be enough. I want to succumb to the beast I am inside. I want to force you to see the truth. I want to punish the believers. I want to undo every mistake I’ve made. I want control. I want to tear the wings from my back. I want you to beg forgiveness, weep at my feet, surrender yourself. I want to see attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I want to watch c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. I want to show you who you truly are. I want to deny the person I’ve become. I want to break myself open. I want to go down in lightning and thunder. I want to be something more than this. I want to walk between worlds. I want to be nothing. I want them to fear my coming. I want blood and tears. I want ruin. I want beauty. I want finality. I want chaos. I want peace. I want silence. I want one chance.
That is what I want.
as above, below
love punishment and ransom
sin repaid in spades
…despite the blade, Tanim does not draw away, lets the knife edge remain pressed to his throat, his every breath shifting the honed metal. The moment stretches out, Daren unmoving save for the faint traitorous tremble of his hand, the rise and fall of the blade as Tanim inhales, murmurs on the exhalation, “Why do you hesitate?” Black eyes flick, sharp and guarded, to meet his own, and the trembling stills for a breath as the other swears through clenched teeth and the desire to draw back, the need to draw blood, “I won’t.” A smile, sad and wry, and an imperceptible twitch of his head presses Tanim’s neck against the blade, razor edge gliding through unresisting flesh; movement just enough to embed the knife’s point in a vein pulsing with each heartbeat. “We must.” He holds his companion’s gaze while one hand rises, curls over the elegant fingers wrapped in turn about the hilt, and draws the buried blade across…
we fear the ghosts in our minds
false revenants, all
yet not the wolves at our heels
bloodied though our feet may be
there is no sound like Tanim’s loss, bereft of love, one half of a broken bond that should bleed from such violation but is instead so achingly empty, so undeniably gone, ceased, cut like light from his eyes, nothing on Earth nor in Heaven or Hell to match the anguished howl that erupts from more than mortal lungs, pours forth from body and heart and soul and mind all lost in the darkness as he cries down the Furies, the Hunt, the sky itself piece by piece with his agony, shattered by the Sun’s rage that is not the desire to punish what remains but the inability to contain the wasteland within him, no reason now to spare the world when his world is nothing, when he is nothing, when there is nothing, nothing, nothing…