Crank the Night

She revved the engine and looked out into the night. The tangle of neon-lit streets spreading out before her seemed to gather at the end of her vision into one single, brilliant point. Finally, she thought, I’ll make it there.

All her life inside the city walls she had been waiting for her keys, for her car, for the ruler who people said was in charge to say, “Go!” But he had never said that word to her; he had never spoken to her at all. So she had decided to find a way out herself, going throughout the confines of the kingdom to barter for a car, to forge its keys, to take one step closer to the outer perimeter, and then another, to see how far she could go before the ruler interfered. She had gotten everything she needed, and he had never tried to stop her. She took that to mean he did not mind much if she left.

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A Breaking of Time

She took his strength for oppression and packed her bags to leave. She took his silence for indifference and shut the door behind her.

He didn’t stand to follow. He didn’t speak to ask her to stay. He just sat in his chair, unmoving, and watched her go.

“30 years and it’s come to this,” she said to no one as she almost ran down the driveway. “It’s all come to nothing.”

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My House Made of Glass

My house sits atop of a mountain in the middle of the sea. It is a box made of transparent glass. It sparkles in the sun and in the moonlight brightly enough for the ocean creatures below to see. My house is big, much too big for only one person. Yet, here I am alone in it.

I’ve lived here almost all my life, ever since the ruler grew tired of me following his steps. He made the house, tucked me into it, set the roof in its place over me, and left. I never had a choice, so I’ve never been very sad about not being able to leave.

I live comfortably here. The ruler was tired of me, but he did not wish to kill or harm me, so he filled the house with everything I could need. I won’t go hungry. If I’m sick, I have plenty with which to care for myself. The house is full of books, art, movies, music, and if I were to get tired of these, there is always the immense sky and ocean to look out on through the transparent walls. Sometimes I see sharks and whales and fish whose names I do not know below the clear water. They used to scare me, especially when I would see their eyes shining up at me at night. But now I pay them no attention and instead look at the stars. No creature from the sea or from the sky could break through this box.

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In the State We’re In, We’ll Not Go Far

In the state we’re in, we’ll not go far.
In the state we’re in, we may not make it till tomorrow.

The streets narrow the closer we get to their end.
The rivers lose their rushing the nearer we come to their edge.
The wolves come out to play (for them) and to devour (for us).
In the state we’re in, we’ll not make it past this night.

But we’ll try, simply because we will not go back.
We’ll try; we’ll fight. We’ll chase the moon around the earth as long as it will lead us.

The answers we once knew fly off us as we run forward, like leaves being stripped off branches in violent wind. Once defining arrows now curve into never-ending circles. Once clear-cut lines now smudge and dissolve into eraser dust. This is the state we’re in.

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Lie down in Darkness: In which I sleep at peace

There is a figure lurking by the window.
There is a mist scrolling in through the cracks in the wall.

I lie down and close my eyes.

There is a shuffling coming from behind the door.
There is a banging sounding from the ceiling.

I press my hands against my ears.

I feel cold against my skin.
I feel a shadow on my lips.

I flinch and try to move away, but I’m already on my back.

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To the Streets: In which I make my way back

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I walk out the glass doors and briskly head down the street in my worn, dirty clothes. There’s a thought of running, of flying, of going away, but I’m bound by these chains that will let me go only so far, so I settle for a careless walk, for as long as the energy beneath my dirty feet will take me.

People stream by dressed in pressed suits and done nails and neat haircuts. I’m not the lowest of the low on the street, so I get by, but not without the clean people’s sidelong glances of judgment and false concern. What is she doing here? Why is she this way? I feel them ask silently, none of them caring to wait for the answers that will only defile their air and waste my time.

But it’s all the same to me, so I walk farther on. For all the weight and short length of these chains, they’re not strong enough to keep me from the wind, from the lights, from the sounds continually in my head. The shackles bite my ankles and I leave a trickle of blood on block after block of these city streets, like permanent breadcrumbs for judges to follow if they try to come get me. But I don’t really mind and I’ll walk as far as I can go, right to the edge: Here I am, on the verge of the water again, with only me and ununderstood powers to keep me from slipping to a final end.

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Staring at the Sun: In which we wait for a reality

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We sit and stand and live and wait, as though Godot really would appear at any moment.

Who says he won’t?

That girl says he will. That guy says he won’t. Those people over there swear he’s already come.

All we know is that we’re  here.

Summer stretching on the grass
Summer dresses pass
In the shade of a willow tree
Creeps a-crawling over me
Over me and over you
Stuck together with God’s glue
It’s gonna get stickier too.
It’s been a long hot summer
Let’s get under cover
Don’t try too hard to think
Don’t think at all.

We sit baking on the curb along the road they said he would pass by. “No one knows when,” they told us. “But he’ll come. Just you wait and see.”

So we nod our heads, settle in, and wait around to see.

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