Monday, January 30, 2006

"sacrificed by a dark religion which almost no one understands"

If I were to give you this that is in my hands, pass to you the liquor of my childish heart - would you carry it in time, build it up without repose, the maker of all ways good, unblasted by tomorrows, not yet washed out with the flood?
     I am white and shivering in this hard daylight, on an unmade bed, two streams through the window from different directions.
     And we all rest alone in the floodlights.
     So I tip the scales this way, that way, and as much as I want to give, I take away. And want as I must, I cannot subtract the heart ache from all the tentative equations we call love, I cannot sweep the sorrow from my door step, nor from any other's. I can be a survivor, but that's the easy bit. It's jumping headlong into certain death which takes a bit more practice. Which takes the superhuman.
     You don't need to bury yourself under the frozen bodies of children to know the endless corruption of life, the terrible blast of loss and feeling, the wake of dread. Just look into the eyes of any single person, at any given second. The tenderness of that will split your heart forever.
     And this is the first mistake, to try and make that torn place good again, to seal it back up and pretend it never split in the first place, that you never really saw what they were showing. Or if you did, to tell yourself that's in the past and well, you'll learn to hold it better next time.
     No no no. We can only ever lightly touch that tear for the tiniest of moments, finger its edges as softly as windfall on a late autumn day. Press our lips to the cut, breath slowly and whisper gently "until again, until again..".

We all long for that moment of love in an endless catastrophe of living. But we all know love is impossible, and that a moment is never enough, we want the pain to stay away forever, we want the river to be always free flowing, we don't want the scars upon our chests, we don't want that reflection in the mirror, we don't want the red to keep spotting the lino flooring.
     And as much as I will hold your hand in the forest when the animals are prowling, I'll leave you to the wolves and the lions, I'll run out screaming. I'll be your pillow to rest your tired head upon, but I'll cut it off at the right time, when your tenderness is but a flapping thing, a scrap in the arms of winter.
     And you'll hold me in the morning, and cook me breakfast and read me stories. And you will leave me in the rain, when all the taxis have sped from the streets, and the lights in windows have gone out. You will cut me with a razor, just to see how I bleed, which way the blood flows. We'll swim in a sea of flowers, roll through fields of poppies, come to the cliff edge and go over together. And I'll leave you hating, you will break my fingers for a long time.
     I've seen seven bulls die before me, awash with blood, and piss, and vapour. I've seen those hooves in the air, I've seen the tongue rolling. I have felt the calls for suffering amid wine and revelling. I've watched dignity destroyed, I've heard the jeers, fallen beasts reduced to toddlers. I've seen them dragged lifeless across a ring of sand by horses.
     And I've seen the man, in the centre of that ring, on one knee only, his head bowed, his back straight. And I have wept at the unbearable, intolerable, unquestionable beauty of that gesture. For the beauty and the grace, as much as for the tragedy, for the cruelty, for the goddamn barbarity.

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