The sun is fading away, though it’s still so humid here,
by the sea, that I feel I need gills to breathe, still so
sweltering, like being wrapped in a tight, wet, steamed blanket.
Ricardo and Mary and walking up, hand in hand, dripping wet,
finally leaving the water as it gets dark, almost if their were
merpeople long ago, in their first and better life.
Last hurrah before school, for me anyway, scrawny and awkward,
unsure of the future, high school, new school, everything shifting,
riding the bus and moving closer to the inevitable, to growing up.
Ricardo pulls Mary into his arms, squeezes her tight and kisses her,
and I look away, nauseous, uneasy watching them like this, wondering
what the big appeal of it all is.
We’re in Mary’s ancient and haphazard calico Ford Probe, driving in
the night, the city shining bright and a hazy golden glow by the highway,
some band I’ve never heard of that Mary loves playing. It is sad. Soothing.
Ricardo holds her right hand on the console while she steers with the left,
and they are talking and laughing, and even in the dark the headlights catch
a glint of the tiny and proud diamond on her engagement ring.
They are through with school. My angels. My protectors. My de-facto siblings.
Older and wiser, already been through the wars to show me the way, are leaving
for Seattle, for a life together, for a better jobs far away.
Mary and Ricardo have always been in love. They have always been there.
Mary used to hold me close to her breast, stroke my hair, sing me lullabies,
and Ricardo always had time to listen to my stories, kick a soccer ball, play with me.
High school is coming. They’re leaving. I feel alone, afraid of what I have to face.
The song changes, and the woman singing, mournful and quiet, sends shivers down
my spine and my arms, even as they radiate with the heat of the long day’s sun.
Mary raises up Ricardo’s hand, and kisses it, and he leans over and kisses her cheek.
Mary pulls into a fast food joint, and Ricardo runs in, coming out with a strawberry sundae.
He gives it to, ruffles my hair, gives me a smile, and then were on again into the night.
I eat my sundae, knowing like these good times, it will be gone too soon.
On the rock I watched the sea.
A mermaid is bright and free.
A mermaid has immortality.
Once, I was like the one on shore.
Saw every lover as paradise and whore.
I am not like those anymore.
In the light of the harvest moon.
I drew my own blood to write the rune.
I grew a mermaid’s tale, swam into the lagoon.
No more desire, I am one with all the ocean.
I have light and dreams and pure emotion.
Only to the depths and light do I give devotion.
On the rock, I dive into the crisp, clear water.
I am not a lover, I am the deep’s treasured daughter.
I am light and I am free, not a man’s profit to barter.
This was a secret world, among the thick green and tall grass, a lush little grotto by the clear, silver creek. The sounds of the highway and the shouts and noise of the people in the town did not come here. It was a shard of Eden.
Gabriella was leading me by the hand. That hand was small and warm, and felt so light and strong in my own. We did not talk, as this was sacred.
The branches and leaves of the trees hid even the twilight sky, though honeyed gold lit us in robes of flames. She pulled her hand away and faced me. She smiled, then placed her hands on my shoulders, signaling me to kneel in the dirt.
Her smile grew brighter, and she did the same.
Her fingers brushed my cheek, and she looked me in the eye, locking me in her light, which was grey like starlight, and as ancient. Her eyes were the color of the water that was the only sound, deep and resonate and without blemish.
She kissed me, softly, tenderly. Her fingers curled into my hair.
A light began to emminate from inside her chest, crimson and pulsating and rich, the color of blood and life and birth. She put her fingers into that light, and pulled her chest open.
The ball of crimson light came out in her hands. Our sacred place was like an unshed womb, dark with nuturing flesh.
On her face was a shy and intimate smile, the light in her hand she was handing to me, to my hands that waited and trembled, in this most intimate moment, our most delicate bonding.
She was handing me her soul.
I held it, and it was heat that did not burn, a dream that did not wake, a wound that was cut and healed at birth.
I felt the light of her, the essence that had drawn me to her, helpless against her wonder, was in my hands.
We were one, this angel and me.
And I felt all the sweetness of my life return, untarnished by loss and the fall from grace, I felt the times the light of heaven had poured through me like the river crashing in white capped power down the mountain, washing away all else in it’s past.
If I had been unworthy, we both would have burned away.
And in that fleeting eternity, that sweetness of her glory, she knew all there was in me, and all I could be, that I would be, for her, for us.
And I returned her soul to her , and slipped back into her silk and soft flesh that closed around it, and sealed in the light.
She looked like a young woman again, hiding her power and beauty.
Again, she reached out and touched my face, stroking my cheek.
Again, she gave me a soft, tender kiss.
The tears wracked me then, unable to absorb all that had happened, that we had shared.
She drew me in her arms and kissed my head, sang me a song from some happy land.
I cried, then slept in her arms.
Teresa stood at the center of Henley St. Bridge,
On this bitterly cold morning, almost New Year.
Angels grow weary. In her spirit and wavering light, she wonders if the war is really done, if winter and Leviathan will devour the sun.
The sword made of silver sheathed in her heart, sun rising on New Year’s Eve, another working to be done, though drained, fading.
The rich and demons, brutal men and young women; find one you find the others. Men feed on the women, the rich on the men, demons on them all.
Teresa wants God and the sun to light the way, as sex and power and cruelty burns all of His world down.
She sees a young couple walking towards her, happy and laughing. More than anything she wants someone to tenderly touch her face.
She walks back to her apartment, her cell and recompense of works, to face Leviathan and the hopelessness of the New Year.
The last drive, in the cold and snow.
To a place that was happy long ago.
The night dark and the snow falling.
The stars clear, winking in a bitter sky.
A demon does not always have a name.
A demon can burrow into your broken heart.
Drive you away, drive into the night for escape.
To someplace that has magic to heal you.
Heater on blast, smothering and choking.
Lisa Gerrard singing like a lost, melancholy angel.
The snow coming at the windshield, glistening in headlights,
like you were in hyperdrive, going into deep space.
One last stop for smokes, Marlboro Lights in the box.
The young man at the counter flirts with you.
You give him a smile, look him in the eye.
One last stop, and then never seen again.
The last drive, one a cold and bitter night.
Running from a demon only you knew.
Running all the way out of the world, out of hope.
The last drive, and I’d follow you there, to find you again.
At the first of morning, before work begins,
me and Emily Jane walk in the dim, damp mist.
The second growth forest, the call of singing birds,
the dark, dark ink of the cross on her pale wrist.
We say nothing, their is only the cool and quiet.
A little creek runs beneath us, reminds me of childhood.
A still, quiet voices whispers in the air, and I can almost
feel close to The Spirit in her, that I’ve scarcely ever understood.
She turns to me, takes me hands into her own, and bows her head
and in murmurs and whispers she prays over us, this new day.
I bow my head, and feel at peace, before the war begins again,
I wish I was always with her in these moments, that innocence could stay.
I invited an angel to sit with me.
She said she could not drink of
the fruit of the vine, but water
was good for both of us.
I tried to find the words to tell,
that would make it all clear to
her and to me, of all I feared
and all I almost dared hope.
Cold water from a deep well.
May her and I never thirst now.
The day was dawning in Gehenna,
and was it at all real, this Light?
She touched her hand to mine,
light and love and softest warmth.
The sun was so golden and full
and my eyes hurt to see it.
Hurt to see what was coming,
what could be, and what I was
before it. The angel drank her
water, and we sat in silence.
Sorrowful, bright light shining on us.
Emily Jane and me sharing a cigarette.
Not a kiss. Not a kiss. Not a kiss.
Emily Jane says the flaming, circling swords
keep her out of the one place that was warm.
I lay beside her on the bare mattress,
watch her play a fantasy video game.
The boy in the game wins a princess.
In her life she won wisdom, patience, agape.
It’s dark at four in the afternoon, storm outside.
The grey is soothing and comforting; we are safe.
She plays the game, and we share silence, perfection.
Lust and tenderness as I watch the lights on her face.
Afterwards, almost six, I make us cheese sandwiches.
We drink cold glasses of milk, as the sky rumbles in anger.
She’s going to do mission work in Kentucky tomorrow, early.
I’m going too. She’ll never be mine, but I want to be like her.
Talking to Alice as she smokes outside the restaurant
where she works as a waitress, in a hokey red and pleated
uniform, some salt-of-the-earth and down home nonsense.
The smoke stinks, and I know it’ll stick to my clothes,
and I’ll smell it on the ride back home afterwards,
but it’s worth it, to be near here, to fell a closeness in winter.
Alice is like me, close to forty, not where we want to be,
so we tell off-color jokes and talk about how the war
ruined it all, and how children are the cruelest mistakes.
Her shift starts in a few minutes, and she’ll go in, and so will I,
and she’ll get to work, and I’ll eat the heavy, greasy food here,
just because I got to steal a few minutes with her.
With someone who knows it’s all going to burn.