Forensic tournament afterword.
Sneaking a smoke in front of the host school.
Your Kool makes a veil, around your head,
angelic and wispy, menthol scent of burnt offering.
Big black parka’s faux fur lined hood is a halo,
and your dark hair is buffeted by the cold wind.
It’s November, and these tournaments will be over
by Christmas, but early nights and cold winds are sacred to us.
You broke again Ally. You won again. I’m an also ran.
Your pieces are sacred and bright. Mine are desperate, sad.
But we both wrestle with demons, whose tails choke our hearts.
We both find solace in winter, when no one makes any promises.
Your cigarette is burned out, and it’s time to get on the bus,
and ride over the plateau back home to Heritage, and we’ll sit
beside each other, maybe your head on my shoulder,
and we won’t say a word, but we’ll feel closer than heaven allows.
Head back to the crowd inside, all those other kids,
all those friends that feel distant and full of words.
You hold my hand until we get to the door, then your hand drops.
But though we know The Devil, we also know hope, and I know you love me.
And I know, I love you…………
Quiet. Cool forest. Little creek.
I hear angels. I hear them speak.
Autumn comes. She will not.
Her battle won. Her battle fought.
Ghosts can’t haunt the bandstand.
I sleep there, her Armageddon planned.
A lock of her hair hold scents of perfume.
It’s seal holds our hands fast, hurries doom.
I lost my way home. I was directed too.
In cold, stony ground, her orchids grew.
A derelict department store has the grail.
The church took the casket, kept her wedding veil.
Autumn is a sweet kiss before she slumbers.
I’ll have to stay awake, keep dialing God’s numbers.
She is close, but being unable to touch hurts.
Stay away from the club on Farragut’s outskirts.
I keep a lock of her soul in my whirling wings.
I hear her. I hear heaven. How this wonder stings!
The lights of the glass mansion shine in this September night,
a distant star, a tiny sun, a light of another life, not ours.
She in her red party dress. stockings, high heels off, running
her feet over the water of the darkened pool, singing a sad song.
Me in now untucked shirt, jacket and slacks, black socks,
glass of champagne, watching her, as if she were a fey come above.
The lightning bugs are long gone, and there’s quiet here, but for the hungry
insects and humming stars, and the peaceful fury of our wild hopes.
She is a child of the water, but the wormwood of this pool, or stinging
regrets that have made there home in it, but it’s all we have tonight.
I am a child of the air, of the warm autumn winds and winter gales,
one or the other, blink of an eye from September to February.
We walk hand in hand to the river, crystal and cold, and pure because
it’s teeth eat our blood and anything unguarded.
We strip naked and walk in, crying out with the chill, and the stars
are all the light of our cracked spirits, as we touch, we kiss.
Beneath the water, dark and velvet blue, one in the dark, in the silence,
coming up in an embrace, those stars in her eyelashes showing His Blessing.
We float, side by side, naked and shivering, watching the night sky above,
knowing we’ll be back her again, after the universe spins back to us.
She sings that song, that still prayer of yearning, for the sky, for love,
for a moment’s peace as The Devil makes dissonant all thoughts of tenderness.
And for a moment, our wild hopes are pure, and the hungry insects are full,
and the stars are enough, to light our way back to Eden, to each other.
She’s asleep in the back seat, at peace it seems.
Maybe she’s having sweet and beautiful dreams.
A soft love song plays on the radio, soothing me.
I’m not stopping this care until we make it to the sea.
The stars are more than I’ve ever seen, angels at rest.
We’re leaving home, those bastards, devils of the west.
I glance back in the rearview mirror, at her sweet face.
A cottage on a barrier island, that is just the right place.
I don’t want we’re running into, but know what from.
A tarnished wedding band, and a piece of land, got the sum.
She’s sleeping without the demon, for the first time tonight.
We’re hounded by things both within and beyond our sight.
A love song can put magic spells to the madness you feel.
Make it a solid thing, a thing you can believe is real.
The road’s wide open before us, and hope, if nothing for sure.
Love and hope, a place to be still, that is the angels sacred cure.
The sea changes and is still the same, like her, like her wild heart.
She will be scarred forever, but we have a chance at a new start.
Sleep and dream, my love, we’ll be free in the morning.
Slim shoulders kept safe by a soft, light brown jacket.
A sweet face content in a pale ale and BLT.
Safe. I feel safe watching her.
I said “Hello.”, touching her soft jacket.
It felt warm like Eden.
Angel in a swank sports bar, as hell follows a lost faith’s pale horse.
She hugs me, and I believe the stars will remember us.
A hit of hope in her kindness, and her light, as I lose track of God and man.
And then home, to call them up for war.
She’s a surfer girl, and she’s been out all day
in the golden Hawaiian sun, a goddess,
a vision in distant blue waters.
I come now, end of my shift, as the sun
goes low, already drinking a magnum
of red wine
as she sits out there, in the velvet light,
sitting on her surfboard, looking out
into the sea.
One last wave, as she turns away from
the horizon and it’s secrets, madness
and glides, one with the water.
She comes to shore, and I offer the bottle
as she sits down next to me, takes a swig,
still looks out into that dark ocean.
“What do you see?” I ask, taking the bottle.
“The God That Made The World.” She says,
“But The Devil is coming very near.”
She sighs, takes the bottle and a swig,
gives my shoulders a squeeze, than leaves
with the bottle and any hope for tomorrow.
The war was over. The war was coming.
The war was eternal.
We had but a moment to catch our breaths.
Me and her, on the back of an old Honda,
riding to the lush trees, high mountains,
and first snows of a just begun winter.
The air cold and sharp, burning our lungs.
The sky grey as the eyes of a distant God.
The road open, deceptively endless.
In the distance, on the border, canon fire.
We could not escape the war, or loss, or death.
Just pretend for a moment, that all was beautiful.
The motorbike whined and I pulled the throttle.
She held on tight, and the blur was a mischievous dream.
Just pretending for a moment, that all was beautiful.