#1507

so I have dragged the beast into the light
but am still too afraid to open my eyes
to face what manner of creature stalks me;
when it lurked in the shadows I could pretend it was harmless
all bark and no bite, my imagination run wild;
after all, it was only once Little Red grew suspicious
that the wolf gobbled her up;
if she had befriended the beast and called it Granny
would they be living in the cottage still?

I am trying to resist the urge
to let my beast slink back into the closet;
I am trying to teach it to heel
and walk around the block

#1506

If I think about myself as I am
a girl who’s always anxious
who speaks too loudly
who cries too often
who is graceless and tactless and intense
I fear I will be too much for you
that I will push you from my side
I wish instead I was the moon
sharp and radiant and cold
dressed in light and shadow
for as the moon I might pull at your heart
knowing you cannot resist the dance
knowing you must always follow me across the sky
faithful sun drawn in the the wake of your moon

#1505

In the night she asks, “Why did you make me your champion?” and all the answers that come to mind are dissimulation. But she knows me too well to deceive her and so I answer honestly. “Because you are nothing,” I say. “You are no one. You have no name; Mage isn’t your real name, and even the first name I had for you is no longer yours. You are nameless, homeless, ageless. That makes you freer than us. Tanim and Daren are bound by who, by what, they are; the Sun and Moon, brothers and lovers. I am bound by who I am and always will be; my name is not so easily cast aside as yours was. Yet you cannot be bound by anything now. You’re free. That’s why it must be you. That’s why I need you.” I lay in the dark for a while, then add, “I’m sorry. I don’t think I meant it to be this way. It’s just, we all have roles to play. This is yours.” She doesn’t reply. I don’t think she minds, though. She’s walked so many roads for me, and this is just another. Really, I chose her because she has always been my champion. That is who she is.

#1503

If you are any city, you’re New York Las VegasAngeles Soddom Gotham every city that runs on vice, every city full of dark alleys and broken glass, every city that smells like cigarettes and old whiskey and desperate sex, anonymous sex, bruising sex, that doesn’t want to know your name or your secrets because here you’re no one, you have no past and no future, you are every city where the nights last for years and the days taste like yesterday’s hangover.

#1502

If you’re any city, you’re Pripyat, city of dust and shadows, of crumbling walls and ghosts in filmy windows, a city so long abandoned it feels unreal, impossible, frozen in the second the world went wrong, an unwanted reminder of there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-we, and yet still some brave souls cling to your outskirts, desperate to remain in the place they once loved, to eke out a meager life beside you, even as your corruption slowly alters them from the inside out.