Every solstice someone dies. On the summer solstice, the Moon; on the winter solstice, the Sun. Each time is different, yet each time is the same. I spend the weeks leading up to the solstice imagining death after death, murder after murder, seeking the scene that will be chosen for this iteration. Will it be suicide or fratricide – premeditated or a crime of passion? Will it involve a gun or a knife, poison or illness, violence or mercy? The Moon prefers small, sharp things that bleed his lover out slowly, while the Sun prefers to leave bullet holes or bruises on pale skin. And where will it take place? In bed, where they are most vulnerable? The alley, hidden within a curtain of pouring rain? Or on the roof, with all the dark city laid out below as witness? I cannot yet say for sure. Right now all I feel is the thin blade in my hand and all I see is the night sky reflected in his unfocused eyes.
I am so, so tired of imagining you. Of imagining what you look like, what you sound like, what you feel like. Of imagining you in moments of movement and stillness, of imagining the way you take up physical space with your mere existence. I strain in the darkness until my senses ache and I can just barely grasp some part of you… but not really. My eyes don’t see you; my ears don’t hear you; my hands don’t feel you. My mind pretends they do, that’s all, substituting imagination for actual experience. My glimpses of you are like an afterimage, or the non-colors in the dark behind your eyes: there, but not fully. Real, but not in a form that does me any good. It wearies me, you know, this effort to conjure you from nothing. I think I would give up any of my senses, if only my last experience with them could be of you.
Satan and Lucifer.
Hannibal and Will.
Tanim and Daren.
There is a connection here, one I am almost afraid to explore. These names feel like skins to be taken on and off, or perhaps fine-crafted person suits, while whatever wears them remains the same beneath. I dream of cathedrals turned prisons for wounded rebel angels. I dream of the way things should have gone, of the teacup come back together, only to find it the longing of a comatose mind. I dream of anger and desire and hurt. Of blood and blades and fire; of Heaven and Hell and the long, long fall between.
I do not fear the truth, but I do fear what the truth means – for my understanding of the world and my role within it, and for those to whom I have sworn myself. What do these names mean to you? What are you beneath them? I want to know. I think I’m ready to know.
I guess we’ll see.
When I die and am autopsied, they’ll find your fingernail gouges on the inside of my skin, the desperate clawing of someone buried alive. The medical examiner will call in doctors and forensic analysts, have you ever seen anything like this?, but they will not be able to explain it. There will be hushed conversations with my family and friends, but they will merely shake their heads and say, who knows; she was crazy. And since I will not be there to explain, I’m a sarcophagus, a coffin, a cage, don’t you see?, I will go down as just another medical oddity and the truth of your imprisonment will be lost for good. Believe me, though – if digging from the outside in could free you any better than your internal efforts, I would meet you halfway through my meat with torn and bloody nails.
“Finding him won’t change anything.”
verb; gerund or present participle: finding
- discover or perceive by chance or unexpectedly.
- recognize or discover (something) to be present.
- (of a thing) reach or arrive at, either of its own accord or without the human agent being known.
reach the understanding or conscience of (someone).
Okay, I get it; I’m asking too many questions. I need to back down. I need to shut up. I need to be thankful for what I know and stop asking for more. Let some truths lie. Accept the unknown unknown.
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
I know the hallowed halls of your realm as if I have walked them myself. In the bedroom which is your battlefield, I watch you wage war between silk sheets; in the bathroom which is your ninth circle, I watch you speak prophecies through blood. In the apartment which is your palace and your tomb, I watch you dance through death and resurrection and death again. These places are the temple in which I was raised as your acolyte to bear silent witness to the private agonies of gods. Like your every word and breath, so I memorize and immortalize the places which have shaped your tale – the alley where blood and rainwater mix on cold cement, the roof where you dare the wind to pull you off the ledge. In the city which is your essence, the city from which you cast a thousand thousand shadows, the city where you live and die the unending cycle, I watch and I write.