Across town, he lies in bed in an upstairs room in the darkness of early morning, trying to write out a poem entirely in his mind. He is anxious, sweat seeps from his bare body into the soft white sheets. The trouble is he can’t help who he is.
Sleep doesn’t come so easy. Writing helps but that, too, seems elusive these days. When your mind runs in every direction, the subject of your work is impossible to stabilize. He is always somewhere else and he is always racing to get there.
The world spins desperately slow. If only he could rush it along, get to the next thing. He doesn’t know when he lost his nerve. When he let himself off the hook for building a life of adventure, wonder.
It’s in the words, he knows that much. Every castle, every love, is in the words he is dying to write if only the shaking would stop. If only he could stop the self-abuse. The sex, the drugs, the drinking, the smokes. It all wears him down, gets him off, drowns him out.
There was a girl once but she passed away long ago. In dreams, she stands off to the side of his visions, motionless, eyes as wide as the many turning moons which orbit his head like a halo.
He can sense what she feels by the shape of her mouth. That mouth, that sensual sinister moving mouth, how it would thrust him right out of his mind.
One by one the stars burn off like so many glittering deaths. The cyclical nature of the universe is the pulse in his veins is the measure of sanity throbbing in his snuffed out brain. Night always gives way to morning. And the words do not stop not coming.
Peeling off the covers, he rises to peer out the window into the first swellings of dawn. Across the sky, a pink ribbon, faint like smoke, a shifting mist of rose water over the crystal blue horizon.
Photo by Shannon VanDenHeuvel