Discover more from It All Burned and Was Light
I stand by the window,
looking into the bright brilliant light of the sun outside,
I like it when it is bright,
I like it when it is dark too,
but brightness makes me hopeful, even if only for a minute
so there I am just looking, gaping
there is a small workshop outside
laid with bricks and stones and silt,
where the hard labor of men works its practical magic
turns less useful things into more
feeds to society’s collective material hunger,
and I hear the clangor of metal beating metal (I scrunch my face wincing),
and I smell the burning foils (and I hold my breath),
and I watch the shimmering white vapors levitate
like long reaching fingers to the sky,
( and I squint my eyes to trace them as they drift and fade away)
angry sweat trickles down the sullen brows of the emaciated bodies,
their chests puffing, their eyes yellow with a streak of red like hissing snakes
a tawdry song of easy love plays on a radio nearby,
but a screeching buzz of flapping wings distracts me from my reverie
near the cornice against the wall,
a dragonfly is caught in the spider webs.
madly fluttering its translucent wings.
its long body unyielding, warped in loopy white threads
its limbs tied into a knot
struggling, beating, jerking.
strangling itself in the coils of a voracious six legged death clacking its pincers from a distance.
Meanwhile, the clock has struck nine. I dash out.
the legwork of life..
I dash back in.
It is turning grey outside the window
the evening is settling, it is dusk
I watch with glazed eyes: another day is passing
so ordinary it will not even register as a memory
I will never remember this day
I will never remember this day
the caption to a painting soon to be stolen
I don’t know what is more stupefying -
the pointlessness? or the finality to the pointlessness?
and that finality too relegated to be erased
I am being erased. not completely, not even cleanly
it’s like a toddler tries to rub off a mistake in his notebook with his pudgy unwieldy hands,
and the tortured spared limbs and spines of those letters and numbers stare from the pages accusingly
an existential goof up.
and I grow faint with each such rubbing.
till I perhaps will become completely invisible.
I hear a feeble grazing sound
the dragonfly still beating against the dusty cobweb.
one of its wings seems to be useless now
the other one barely swinging,
every now and then,
perhaps to ward off the hunter in waiting that already knows:
it is just a matter of time.
It is dark now.
the men at the workshop have retreated to their cages
no thump, no thud, no cling, no clang, no rattle, no bang.
I like it when it is dark.
I like it when it is bright too.
but darkness blankets everything in the suburban island.
no industrious feats, no mechanical rush.
no necessary facades to enact.
no lessons to learn.
no shame, no ugliness
no expectations to trail,
no disappointments to drag,
and as the eyes like things glued to the face like shapes are blinkered —
there it is, it really is sometimes
like soft light.
I flick the flashlight in the direction of the dragonfly.
its flaccid shell hangs upside down wrapped in a cocoon of ropey threads
its wings twisted like wire
probably eaten from the inside.