My body is nothing but dust these days,
Dragged in from the outside,
From the ragged side-streets, the forgotten lanes,
It’s what happens to stardust after it decays,
And I know I drag this rot through the hallways,
That it sparkles and putrifies along the shaggy, soft carpets,
And I know that the dust I shake from my hair,
Runs like cockroaches, in and out of the cracks.
I see her standing in the hallway, a swan born of angels,
Alabaster shoulders; blue-china eyes,
A face with no purpose but to set the world right.
She tells me, I’m the light, don’t you know?
And I swear that I am the night.
I believe that I can change,
In a heart of heart that can keep nothing caged,
In a heart of hearts that crumbles, implodes, decays.
But I collect stamps during the days,
I love the edges,
The crinkled edges, that are full of sharp points,
And yet the stamps are so neatly square,
(or sometimes triangular, oval, round, rectangular – should you care)
Each one lines up with the other,
All in order, in orderly rows.
I can be that you see, for her, I can shake off the wildnerness,
I can lay down my battleaxe – for her I'd let go –
I believe I could leave behind the fight.
She says to me, head shaking, but don’t you see? I am the light.
And good, that’s what I tell her, yin and yang, I am the night.
Her shadow burns to touch me, leaves bruises, leaves scars behind,
It heals me as it hurts me, it shapes, it sculpts, my mind;
While my shadow is made from ice, it saps the life out of living things,
It withers them up inside,
Makes them join me in the dust
-As surely, she too must –
But her shadow is the stronger of the two of us.
Mine shrinks and puckers in the strength of her light.
She feeds me, so I drink from her,
I siphon off some purity, just enough to clean my face,
To be acceptable in her sight,
She touches my forehead with glowing hands; I know she is the light,
And I kiss her with my dark-breath lips, since I am, after all, the night.
She’s had her fill of darkness, of dust, of death,
She’s supped on all the sterility, the emptiness, the numbness she can take.
I can’t imagine a world where brightness can’t cancel the dark,
Where her kiss can’t steal my breath.
I can’t see why she doesn’t see,
Without her I will grow, I will grow like undead weeds,
I will grow not just fat, not just big,
I will rage across the landscape, blighting and withering,
Casting my gaze on all that is green and growing and writhing with energy,
Distended and distorted, I’ll rain down on it, I will
I won’t mean to, I am a power without conscience,
A life without will
Don’t do this to me, don’t let me be the blight.
Chalk and cheese, she tells me, smiling sadly, sinking into the night.
No! I bellow after her, her pinpoint-fading presence,
I’m nothing, only darkness, I need you to be my light.
Picture credit/discredit: author's own work