Your backseat magicks worked; the flames leaped high, curled and licked at the walls with full ferocity, with quick-burning desire, with an ache soon left unanswered by blackened walls and ashes settling in a void of your own creation. Sitting silently asleep, I awoke to flames you'd cast from nowhere I understood, burned as I could not fathom; yet they consumed, and I was wracked by the smoke to tears which I don't think ever hit the burning floor. I staggered for weeks, with fevered plans of contigency rushing to explain, to find a way out, or to pull you back in to... to... to cool the flames in some way, to make it calm again. But the flames burned, and the plastic melted and the curtains smoldered and somehow, so quickly, all was ashes; no rebuilding.
With time, I was able to return, sift through the wreckage, to look ardently for matches, for gas, for some reason that this fire burned out of control as I slept.
I never found them.
All I ever found for fuel was the terrible loneliness of the room you'd
left me in, the lure of the phoenix's rebirth mingled with the mockery
of the flames&emdash; these endings are for always.
By this time I am dead to you.
You've sat through and sung at my funeral, scattered some ashes on waves and in mountain pools&emdash;so poetic. Me? I sat in the back behind the bushes and sang Magnetic Fields songs until I agreed with the words, but sang with an intensity that faded faster than I thought the drama allowed. Somehow I hadn't the energy. I watched your tears fall and saw your red eyes look up with some glimmer of sincerity, of truth, and somehow that shook the last of the ashes off, somehow that let me go. Without you knowing for certain I'd been there, I left the funeral dry-eyed.
By now you might be on your way to an unsmiling life in a small city apartment. By now you might be on your way to those same mountain pools on the rarefied heights. By now you might be looking out across a sea of placid cloudbanks on a sunrise free of lightning. Me? I'm wandering off where the lightning went. Somewhere I'm a phoenix waiting for a spark.
My best friend Kerryanne, laceveiled, draped in tulle and roses
and hedonistic caricature, sweeps through her blacktop entrance
Ryan and Alecia sittin¹ in a tree-ee
enunciates her magic lines, the short-syllabled speech of Dream Two,
and flings promdress stardust in the paths of marauding ghosts --
kay - eye - ess - ess - eye - enn - gee
snaps a turn and screams as some roguestreak human dares
to tear through the opening act of her rehearsal-reverie, a boy no less,
first comes love
catching my hand, tagging me back to playground-world --
distracted off her stage, Kerry flies too, chasing into ragged orbit
then comes marriage
Near the snaking arborvitae. She knows too well that electricity
flows through clasped hands and every twig of our home base retreat
then comes the baby in the baby carriage...
where he knew an alcove. Out of breath, he would lead
me there for innocent kisses amidst the prickles of waxy leaves.