The Intermission

The ghost, the miser and the clairvoyant
sat in the back of the projection hall
quiet as spiders.
They are the ones
who claimed they knew his threads,
could read the very pulse of his once-inert heart
the bloody hue
of days and lives
extrapolated
and laid out on a childhood carpet.
A Christmas present of the soul, Indian gifted.
They wrote to him,
in neat handwriting
on a business envelope from Japan
that they know his whole story
his whole history,
every day of his life.
And they were coming,
prepared to see this thing out.
“We are waiting for the film to finish.
Then we will prove it.”
The projectionist shrugged.

 

Long notes from the orchard
while the story has it’s just deserved
intermission.
He stole a car when he was eighteen
and he lost his scholarship.
Same nameless bird sings.
The good man in the projection hall,
shoes sticking to the once-sodden floor,
as he bites his lip in the dark,
as the brain turns and snaps into place
and the first reel
of the second half of what life
could be
finds her way back home.
 

It’s hard for him
not to utter soul himself.
 
I don’t fall in love everyday.
He looks at the scar that runs along his ankle.
He’s living in the intermission
he’s at his best when he’s not thinking,
shuttering smoke, leaned  against the metal ladder
below the open hatch door.
He’s alive talking sconces to himself,
self-imposed punishments for his odd failures.
I do fall in love everyday.
He tells himself this,
as the audience parses towards bathrooms
and mezzanines and ashtrays
and hoods of cars and stairwells
and jewelry stores.
I do fall in love everyday.
 
There are only so many ways
to call yourself an idiot.
There are only so many voices
willing to announce the truth
of your unceasing idiocy
long enough for it to sink in
like a glass bottle in thick soil.
So, he reminds himself
I got good
at being the Different You.
 
Progress is not preordained
or planned, or mounted.
It’s random.
 
He tells himself this,
leaning against the ladder
The guests gesturing towards the machine
waiting for the second half
of the you-and-I story.
 
He reminds himself he forgot himself
in a sheath of a golden jacket turned jade
a still-functioning heart that was
once spoiled in the Southern sun.
He reminds himself
so his life doesn’t become an anecdote,
a dreamlike aside
or a shitty song stuck on repeat.
He doesn’t want to be a miser.
He doesn’t want to be a clairvoyant.
 
He wants the consequences
to burn with light
the brother of the projector
the gifted daughter of the ghost
whirring to life.

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