Overnight, the dial has turned to Autumn. The lucid morning breaks, an effortless dream.
Two scars emboss an all but empty sky, pink tendrils bulge around the curve,
bruised flesh agleam — decorum. A heady day of negatives – no puffed polluting contrails,
no false declining birds. Cars glide a touch above the asphalt, careful not to
disturb. Sunlight: burgeoning, easy-handling and clear. The wind: a trickle, trifle, earful;
now a lover’s secret, then a fallow wave; never gained, there is no loss of trill,
a leaf descends and breaks the will of the reflected canopy. The shade it makes
cannot decide, and flits and fails to stick. Exists, and then does not, and there’s the glitch.
Three black dogs with midnight eyes ascend the hill, no backward glance, towards me.
In my long coat
in a high seat
space between my thumbs
hands loosely clasped
I can blow the air to snow
before we leave this hole.
Or I hope that I hope
(there’s a disconne
ct to my spells;
they are always
bad tuning interference
false shaman I am
a coward’s invocations
false power subjugated for a show.
But with your first foot out the door
you catch your virgin snowflake
on your tongue.
And what am I doing?
Speaking in tongues
interference grey crackled now
in the dry spell
of my unmagic
driftless adult life
in which I had forgotten
that snowflake game
and I can’t be fucked
to remember it now.
Do we miscast a spell, to speak on emptiness,
to take as ordinary nourishment the loss,
the milky loss on every side? The empty word
a steaming black buffalo in the many gaps
of teeth which grow apart, a set of barcode lines,
crooked piano din in a large room of whites.
To take the pieces – knights, bishops, king and pawn –
and pour and pour into the waiting, empty box;
do we allow blank shadows to bowl us along?
Do we rush it? Do we make a journey of stops?
Chris Heath is a freelance writer living in Bath. He holds a BA in English Literature with Philosophy & Creative Writing from the University of Hertfordshire. His pamphlet ’23:58′ is forthcoming in 2019. Tweet him at @larroney