No need for bandages.

September 20, 2010

She tells herself to do this: write when things aren’t right.

The bleeding at the keyboard, words fabricating a bandage. Melancholy drains from the heart, seeping out through the ends of her fingers when she pushes them against the keyboard, words forming those compresses to contain the hemorrhaging. Recording language, smithing structure, massaging verbiage, reaching in the grab-bag of a heart. (Feel the vessels and the damp heat in the heart, feel it pump and thrum: that’s pain there). Words offering self-solace and consolation from disappointments, dashed hopes, despair. Loneliness.

That’s when she writes best.

And so there are big gaps in the chronology of that thing, her life. The absence of words marking contentment. The quiet means she’s operating in the easier and gentler channels of time. Less words mean her hand is being held and there is comfort and care and joy. There is that.

She’s going to watch the clouds go sailing. She’s going to taste some wine. She’s going to take it easy. The writing suffers but the heart thrums along, now delighted.

He called her a hostage and there was a time that would have thrilled her soul, to the bone, marrow vibrating with enchanted hope for that particular prison.

What bells ring now. Bells of freedom, carillons that shout with relief that she has moved astride the Phantom Spectre, given the slip to his outsized shadow. Like finger puppets against a child’s bedroom wall, fangs and horns creeping ever closer, when the lamp is flicked on, the shadows fall away and all that remains is a soft and small hand, held close to the plaster. Defenseless and innocent.

In the clink. Him, the jailer. Somehow he is kind, or impervious, enough to put that big brass key well within her reach and somehow, she accepts it. Feels the weight of it in the palm of her hand. Places it in her mouth for a moment to taste it’s metallic bite against her gums, her teeth.

Well, he’s incurious and satisfied. And she won’t abide that. All. Or nothing. Place the key into it’s slot, feel it click and fit. Turn it and feel the satisfying groove, a key making love to a lock, jigsaw’d. Swing the door wide.

A hostage on the lam.


Footfalls out of earshot.

September 7, 2010

She’s a queen and a sovereign and she gave him an audience in front of her, where he stood, back stiff and hands at his sides, full of military bearing.

She waves a hand. He’s dismissed; he may begin his depart march. (Her body sinks back into her chair, where she rests, poised and serene, her face composed.)

He doesn’t know it, but when he leaves that room, her troop of chastisers marches in, loosed from the shadows. Clubs and sticks raised in reprimand, the purple bruises begin to bloom inside her chest, where nobody will ever see them, and where they remain sore and tender, long after his footfalls are out of her hearing.