the car’s on fire and there’s no driver at the wheel
and the sewers are all muddied with a thousand lonely suicides
and a dark wind blows
the government is corrupt
and we’re on so many drugs
with the radio on and the curtains drawn
we’re trapped in the belly of this horrible machine
and the machine is bleeding to death
the sun has fallen down
and the billboards are all leering
and the flags are all dead at the top of their poles
it went like this:
the buildings tumbled in on themselves
mothers clutching babies picked through the rubble
and pulled out their hair
the skyline was beautiful on fire
all twisted metal stretching upwards
everything washed in a thin orange haze
i said: “kiss me, you’re beautiful -
these are truly the last days”
you grabbed my hand and we fell into it
like a daydream or a fever
we woke up one morning and fell a little further down -
for sure it’s the valley of death
i open up my wallet
and it’s full of blood
The Dead Flag Blues by Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Trouble sleeping. First time in over a month. I remember the desperation of the last times. They are shadowy echoes I still can sense, but my body feels hollow in the moments. A stranger in that mind, though it is also mine.
I want to sleep. To dream. But it does not come. My mind is not racing, but this bed feels foreign. This pillow a stone and my mattress a floor. The air is stale. Dry. Why must this come at the times when I need rest? Why does my body not sleep when it needs it and run to dreams when it could be awake? Does it fear the morning and wish to stay its arrival? Does it think not entering into sleep keeps daylight from coming? Why does it not listen to my commands? Why is it not in my control?
Why must I lose?
They emptied the house of everything valuable and destroyed all that mattered. The circular carpet indentations remain from the leather sofa and love seat pair Claire and I bought the first week after we married, the glass topped coffee table I feared would break at every clink of a cup, and the waist high inn table Suzie bumped her head into when she was five that gave her the first set of stitches. The scattered indents formed an incomprehensible game of Connect the Dots in the mud tracked carpet.
On the walls our picture frames still hung, but glass shards and crystal fissures muddled the images. Suzie was still riding her bike for the first time, but now it looked as if she would stumble upon a great iceberg before making it across the frame. A family portrait taken last Christmas featured spider web cracks across each of our smile strained faces. At least the baby pictures appeared untouched.
Cheap plates and cups were flung from cupboards and littered the tiled kitchen floor. Our wine rack, the object of no connoisseur’s envy – pillaged. My grandparent’s gold rimmed, hand blown crystalware – missing. The forty-eight commemorative state plates collected over the course of my childhood road trips – no longer contiguous.
Dresser drawers formed stacking towers at the foot of our bed. Clothes encircled the structure like worshipers at a shrine they didn’t believe in. The jewelry box Claire’s mother passed down to her was empty, but it only had held cheap pieces. The box itself was what mattered. Only her sentimental eye would hold onto the chipped wooden container.