art, fiction, life, prosetry

Such is the inequality of them

egon-schiele-the-family

Night before

his letter landed on the hall way mat like a whisper

she was in the top bathroom, where the wicker shades made everything warm and orange, taking a hot bath, a purge of sorts

her bags packed, she bathed, no urge to touch the frozen parts of her, threatening to disrupt her plans, outside was monochrome, the dullness of impending Winter shifting itself stiffly in chair

still and far from her, he knew he had the power

the letter read ten pages, one message, come out into the night and sit with me I have to win you back before you leave

if she could go back now in time she would say to herself sitting in hot bath, wiping the condensation and seeing her youth

don’t

instead she went, hearing his call like the sound of blood, she went and she opened a vein and he drank deeply

they had nowhere to be alone so they climbed over the gates of the bowling park and he pressed her against the cherry trees in his departing lust

then she ached, between her and for her, knowing by saying yes, she was creating an impossible journey

Day of

Her father’s car stolen they drove a large rental van with her futon and toys in the back she left most of her books and hardly had any music, though she packed frugally she took with her the biggest thing, that stone wrapped in twine threatening to drown her

he watched her as she turned the road and the white van recedes like a winter bird

he felt he had captured the bird again and for this, he was glad

arriving she saw the sterile room, the bed punched to the wall hardly large enough for even anorexia, like a shelf bidding her to climb down and sleep in trees

her father tried not to cry so much his face turned to chalk and they walked down by the lake and watched the birds shimmer on the cold surface without seeing their reflections

when he left she tried not to howl, retreating to her room she hid like she knew to do so well and soon the others in the dormitory thought the room was uninhabited and they were partially correct

The day after

She called him from the pay phone, she wanted to say, come up, come up and wipe away my emptiness

instead she said it was okay and talked about the rabbits and the birds and the classes she had written down on a long list next to her books and her packs of cigarettes and her emptied stomach

he felt content knowing she was on a shelf waiting for him to pluck her in dissection

The week after

It isn’t hard she thought, to leave this world and inhabit another

by day she walked the concrete catwalk of the college, watching fat cheeked children, doused in piss and vinegar, play at maturity

by night the children of mirth drank themselves into glasses, and she who could not afford to eat, sat outside her room on the balcony and wanted to jump

The month after

The counselors proclaimed her fit to continue, she knew how to out fox any psychological tests, her eyes did not give her away but had they looked underneath her sleeves maybe then she would have been packed on a train and sent to a calm room with a larger bed

he visited briefly, enjoying the unfurling countryside whisked past on train, and the feeling of being out of the city, as much as his devour of her and her increasing thinning skin, illuminated by moonlight

they lay together, smoking and reading, he took frequent sips of her until she ran dry and then he took another long draught, ensuring she knew who marked her for possession

when he left, she cycled back from town, wobbly from not eating, light-headed in a dreamy way that made it easier and switched to sleeping on the floor

The second month after

Starvation is an art, rarely employed willingly she knew those who did, were certain of their actions, whilst she, only knew what she did not want and she did not want to be aware of herself

the instructors noticed the girl in the back of the room wrote thoughtful essays if a little disordered, and she did not seem to talk to anyone else

she saw his absence, the welt on her ribs, and knew if she had not accepted him again she would now be feeling nothing of his rejection, it was only her and her alone who was at fault for being weak enough to believe stone changes from stone to water

the boy without eyes scratching surfaces, turned to her with his savage instrument pointing her way, and with his mouth spoke entreaty and she felt sorry for him and let him into her small room and her tiny bed on the floor and they broke themselves into pieces trying to burn each other out

afterward a life flickered dimly, hardly holding on in the shrinking of her, it clutched at her resource like a rabbit seeking burrow at night fall

he did not visit because he had found that other flowers grew by the side of the road and one in particular, a night rose, had petals he was addicted to

Three months after

She bore with all her energy, the watery rose-tinted creation who without breathing, moved and then died in a grave of her tears

she buried her grandparent and her child on the same hill overlooking the lake, in her heart, and stood still enough for birds to feel safe and land nearby to search for worms beneath the frosty grass

he came once more, enveloped by the smell of others, curious more than longing, and this time he was not kind and his eyes looked away when she bled and hurt for his return tore her open, when she had been deliberately folding herself like a stained sheet back into perfect square

leaving the school she walked up to the furthest point of the hills above the lake and lay down, a blanket of wool and some pills the doctor mistakenly trusted her with, a quart of something that would drowse regret

the boy without eyes did not know she was fading, he was writing songs about his conquests and his heart was full of excitement because he now knew his own power and the taste of a girls acquiescence

it was never told that she carried a part of him within her, and had he been aware, it is doubtful at that time he would have cared. Twenty years later it was a distant regret and no more, he didn’t even spend time wondering what became of her, or consider the soil beneath which, his flame slept

he grew rich because he believed in himself and his infallibility, and the women who passed through his bed, they confirmed this, with their nodding heads and compliant thighs parting to show him where he could plunder

such is the inequality of them

Twenty years later

She lies still for the surgeon, he cuts and perforates whilst listening to Chopin

soon a part of her that made life, is dull and suspended in formaldehyde

she has empty arms

his arms encircle her waist

imagine seeing you here in the city again after so long!

she is still as slender as a reed, he has a little balding but has the same sharp teeth and black eyes

are these your children? she asks nodding at the little hands clasping his trouser legs

yes this is Amy she’s ten, Mark is seven, Sylvia is five and my wife is holding Jo he’s only fourteen months

you have a beautiful family

thank you it’s so good to see you again you’ve hardly changed

as they part ways, she feels the heaviness of his hand around her, and the flicker of interest on his lips wet with speech

A week later

I thought I would call and see if you’d like to go to lunch?

I would love to

they meet in a place they used to go, his suggestion and that’s how she knows

that evening

your company gave you this apartment in the center of town?

yes for late nights, it’s easier than commuting to the suburbs, my family understands

he lays her down by the fire-place on the rug, and the years between them are no longer

where did you get this scar? he points to the thin silver crossing her pubic bone

it was an accident

he takes off her clothes, she is still concave and white like a pearl in the reddened darkness of the room, he has a slight paunch and several strains of bacteria picked up from riding horses until they dropped

you’re the same slip of a girl you were when I first met you, your hair is still red, and you still smell like autumn

as he lowers himself onto her, he feels her mouth on his neck, a whisper, like an envelope falling onto mat

i loved you so much

then a stinging feeling, light-headed, almost pleasurable, he doesn’t understand why everything is slightly tilted

now he is lying on the rug, looking up at her, she is dressing, she doesn’t bother with her buttons and throws her coat over her cold breasts and shivering

he cannot form the words, if he knew what they were, he would like to say, as edges begin to finger indistinct he might say you are still so beautiful, he might say, I never loved you, I planted an abomination in you and I left, glad for my freedom and your neglect

and she would say, before closing the door quietly, no I am not beautiful I am dammed, and I am empty, and I have drunk my fill of you and this has set me free and now I will run with the wind until it gathers me up into pieces and flings me every which way, so that I do not exist and you do not exist and this, this we made, sleeping in earth, can be still at last

such is the equality of them

 

 

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17 thoughts on “Such is the inequality of them

    • thefeatheredsleep says:

      Ditto my friend. I re-read one of yours whilst I was at HA this am and thought the very same thing, the one where someone said you could squeeze realism from every word, that’s so true, you are so good at that and it helps us to inhabit your imagination.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: This Weather Gives Me the Creeps | Anyone's Ghost

  2. This leaves me breathless. Transported from the very first line. Brilliant.

    I would have never found this if Mark hadn’t reblogged it… every now and then I might have had this empty feeling, an impression of having missed something amazing but I would never be able to put my finger on it. Phew.

    Liked by 1 person

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