There are times when I want to either be fully in that world or not there at all. Like now: I can watch him sink to his knees, but I can’t pull him away. His hands tremble now, no matter how steadily they held the blade a moment before, but I can’t take them in my own. I watch him bite back a sob as he folds over, hands fisting in his hair – wiping blood on black locks – and I can’t hold him or touch him or do anything of value. If I could, I’d fix him a drink; wash the blood from his clothes; get him in bed. Do… something about Daren’s body. If I have to watch this scene replay itself unto eternity, I at least deserve to be a player and not solely the audience. I wouldn’t stop things or try to change the outcome. I just want to clean away the blood so neither of them has to. That seems fair.
Why, I ask you, is the summer solstice so much harder to face than winter’s? Awash in red, you shrug and answer with that eternally sad smile of yours, Because we both love him. I expected this answer.I love you, too, I point out, but you shake your head. Not in the same way, and then, before I can respond, Don’t worry, I don’t take it personally. Over the body of your dead lover, I try to meet your eyes, match your smile, and fail. Three’s a crowd.
Chest to chest, hip to hip as if one heartbeat, as if one breath
(step, turn, step)
hand to the small of the back and fingers trailing over stiff linen
(step, turn, dip)
and then the bite of the blade, too sharp to even hurt
(step, turn, step)
red drops on white carpet, rose petal wrists
(step, turn, step)
arm sliding around narrow waist, mouths bruising
then the blade to bare throat with merciful speed
and gentle hands amid the red river
lay him down.
I serve the sun and moon, though not in any form from any myths yet told. This is not a masculine sun and feminine moon, fallow winter to fertile summer, balance and symbiosis. This is not The Lovers or The Wheel; this is The Hanged Man and the Five of Swords. I serve a sun and moon who usher in the solstices with godblood and death. I serve a cowardly sun and an apathetic moon. I serve an addicted sun and an ascetic moon. I serve a sun who burns too brightly and gives too much, and a moon who’s ever shadowed and gives too little. I serve cruel gods. Bitter gods. Rotting gods. I serve gods who are ever dead and ever dying. I serve gods who love and rage and sorrow with equal ferocity, and who demand offerings of blood and tears. I serve gods who would by no other be served, whose shackles are ancient and unbreaking. I serve gods whom no other would serve, and I would do so regardless of chains.
the solstice approaches and every night now i dream him dead or dying, your arms a cradle, your arms a cage, are you tired of watching your lover die? because i am tired of watching your lover die, i am tired of offering my tears and my breath and my blood but with what else can you send the moon on his journey into darkness, how can you not weep and tear out your hair? it is astounding how each time feels like the first and only, how a heart can break and break and break again and again and again and still be agony, devastation, and I do not blame you if you are tired of watching your lover die because i watch each time as well, and i am very tired
Be real. Please, be real. I don’t care what you are as long as you are real. Fallen angels, forgotten gods; spirits, demons, ghosts, death, I don’t care, I don’t care as long as you are something. I will go mad for you, if that is what it takes to see you. I will bleed for you, weep for you, if that is what it takes to earn your favor. I would do anything for you. I have done everything for you. If at the end of all this you drag me down to Hell or send me back to start the cycle over again, I won’t care. I will open my arms to any fate as long as it means you are real, you are something, you are someone. Just please, please be real. I can handle anything you are – but I can’t handle you not being real.