Like all things, we start on a street in front of a church in a town that we do not know. There are stairs we must climb and gaps to be crossed and no sense of direction except we must leave and walk into the forest. There is no castle here. We can assume that what is causing fast-walking bones and rings of flight to combust at the slightest touch is not a weapon but an extension of ourselves: We exist in forms, can end others because there is nothing left to hold. When you disappear you leave half a heart which doesn’t go very far these days. These days I don’t notice when it starts getting dark; the drapes on windows prevent the sunlight from purely entering my room. These days, there is a building that blocks my view of the east, the east that is home. Across from my bed is a chair and beyond it a window where the weeds have grown through the cracks between the glass and the wood, outside inside if only for a moment. It is too much to go outside during the day. The sun and the music make things weaker and more susceptible to the heat that causes us to evaporate slowly to the clouds. And so this is what heat is like here, where we wait for a time, where we have an excuse to do nothing but visit familiar places over and over, the same gaited walks of friends, the same demons, certainly, and before we know it is night, it is night. I am told that it is dark and that I am cursed, that my body knows nothing that it knew before. At night, it is difficult for anything to get done, and we know this, that no good comes after the sun goes down. We must rest, yet we slash at bodies now unwilling to yield as they once did. Things cause more damage after nightfall, after our strength has been halved by the process of the day and still there is more left to lose.
This is not a castle—This is a house. This is another house. There are no castles left save for one, which is in ruins. There is the running of ghosts and the breaking of walls. There is nothing to fear here; repeat twice. When you hold certain things you can see things that are not there and this is where we are, in a manor, in a house, in a matter of speaking. You and you and you and I are old. Backs are not what they used to be: yours from breaking candelabras in a castle, yours from moving yellow couches from consignment shops to other people’s houses in hopes of leaving furniture behind before you leave this place for good to go to a city where you can talk about this place as if it exists only in theory, so that what's gone somehow gains in magnitude. You say you’ll never return unless you are passing through and I believe and envy your words, how you have the ability to leave without fear. When I was a child I feared the words that scrolled in white and so I refused to talk to people, to go up to them and press the button that would make them spell horrible clues, horrible lies. I paid attention to only the violence. I would jump into pools of water ad nauseum in hopes that I would fall through the water this time, one time at least, because repetition is what gets things done most days. In the town next to the town next to the end, the people tell us to leave, that we have been doing something wrong all of this time, our obsession of collecting and falling into spikes from trusting the sight of the ground. There is something to be continued, certainly: that the weather can pick us up at any given moment and bring us to a place where time does not move, day and night do not cycle, and nothing is protected. If we have enough hearts we can get what we need to take what is not ours. We must throw wood into orbs to create something that was once a given, a legend here that needs no explanation and a hope of leaving ourselves here so that we can be remembered in all the colors the system allows.
We win, but we are dead. We win and we are thanked. We win, but we cannot bring back what we have brought back. On the night when I used to go to church to be healed I heat oil on the stove. I crush garlic with the broadside of a knife like my grandmother taught me. When she dies I will leave garlic at the cemetery. When I die I ask that you leave cinnamon, that laurels will help me through the poison that blocks the way to where I am going. We did not think of these things before today, we did not think about loss, about the acquiring of the absence of invasion. There is something that needs to be done, you say, that uncertainty means action and little else. We eat in what all signs pointed to silence. This was the appropriate metaphor I had learned as a child, that I had learned from watching fake sincerity and severity and that is what I assumed would happen, that there would be nothing said except what has already been said, rote memorization and repetition with no reason to listen again, the text cut short as we jump from brick to brick in hopes of finding someone willing to sell us something, exchange what we have for something better. To make a deal. The day we begin to collect what we need to put back together in order to destroy the sum of its parts is the day you tell us that they are taking you away from you and I am terrified of what is left to be said and what will be left of me at some point. The second we see where what appears to be ground is not where ground is, we line the path in front of us with prayers and holy water in hopes of seeing the fire at our feet, or else the sacramental flicker off screen.