Portrait

Francis Bacon - Self-portrait_ 1972 i
“Self-Portrait,” Francis Bacon, 1972

There was nothing else she could do, here among the ashes. The fire had come suddenly, out of nowhere in the middle of a quiet night, and now everything had been charred through, disintegrated down into gray dust.

The gray dust lay everywhere, in heaps here and there among the property, in a thick layer over the car parked on the street, blanketing her skin as though it were makeup powder she had applied carefully in the morning to cover her blemishes.

She sat on the curb, her back facing the remains of what had been her home for almost all her life. She had come to this house as a young child — before she could even remember — and had grown and stayed in it throughout the years, even when the rest of her family had chosen to go elsewhere, to more comfortable and modern places.

But she had always stayed. This was where she had come to know herself as herself. This was where she had lived her happiest memories and had mourned her greatest sorrows. This was where she had met her God, and had left him, and had found him again. Now with the fire, it seemed he had been the one to leave.

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A Sad Case

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 “Rock ‘n Roll” Salvador Dali, 1957 (http://art-dali.com

Stretch out my arms
To meet your gaze
Bring our distance close
To find our meeting end.

I reach for your face
As you reach for my throat
There’s no greater sound
Than my words left unsaid.

Our twisting bodies twist,
Together,
And away.
Find our meaning in the way
You never let me see your face.

Together,
Then away,
Through the “nowhere else to be”,
Familiarity beats out courage
In a wasted land of space.
We’re stuck in this same town,
Same music,
Drinking the same drink,
Filling the same cemeteries,
At the end of our days.

Do not let me go,
Or I will fall away.

I fall away
At your gaze,
At your voice,
At your skin touching mine.
I fall away at every word you’ve ever said.

Stretch out my arms to chain you by my side.
You wanted to leave — I let you —
But now you’re here for my name
You choke out in endless echoes.

Together,
Then away,
Through the “time has ceased to be”.
I return to our courage-less bars,
Our courage-less songs,
Our frequented cemeteries.
Bury me beneath your ground.

I fall away
At your name,
At your face,
At your eyes slicing mine.
I fall away at every word you’ve ever said.

Stretch out my arms
To morph your body into mine.
Forever I’ll choke on your fist down my throat.
Tell me you don’t love me, just one more time,
And I’ll fall away at every word you’ve never said.