right hand pointing


  Colin Fleming

Requisitions, amidships


      I need you to do something for me. And realise that by ‘me’, I mean no one, single entity, but  rather that I beseech you on behalf of--everything. I do not make this request of self-immolation--we both know the terms--without my own despair and regret, and my own constant pain, nor do I fail to understand that what has ever been meant by the act, in any previous gesture or metaphor, in no way speaks to what I ask of you here, or is anything but misleading. This is the one gesture.

I know what is coming. I knew it tonight walking around in this ridiculous heat, absolutely possessed, in a frenzy; I know what devils jerk the strings. I know exactly the expressions of that particular one and how the shapes move around his mouth. I know what hours he keeps, and what hours he prefers. You ask me to return to the void.

I ask you to return to the void.

But have we ever really left? And you do not merely ask me to return, to the one void, the one true void, and that I have created, to map or carve out more blackness.  Quite apart from this blasphemous cartography, you ask me to be the void, to inhabit it insofar as I can exist. And you ask me, out of these horrors, for what, otherwise, would be the bother, to fashion life.

As would you, as it can be no other way. The thing must be finished.

And where will you be sat when horrors never quelled rear up with yet greater intensity, where will you be amidst the blood and vomit and visitations? Where will you be as I shake and scream?

I will be by your side.

It is not enough.

I would never pretend that it would be.

And yet you call me back to--what should I call it? Should I even provide names for rudiments so belaboured of physical conceptions--size, height, heft, all the hues a mind can imagine--that their very rootedness in this world threatens abstraction in another, were it not the poet’s world--where that piece of sailcloth you now bid me return to is no more composed of cross-stitches and hems than strung together by my own lacerations, no more dotted with colours than constellations. 

You need not shake the canvas at me.    

You call me back to an evil work. And what if some good comes of it? What manner of “good” could that possibly be? The good of a requiem? A requiem’s requiem--an apocalypse’s apocalypse. It is all so soiled, so sick, and still I have looked upon it, always at night, with you ever-intoning in my ear, and insisted it was some grand, peaceable gesture, and once or twice, you lusty interloper, I even thought it an act of love. I shall pay for that, I imagine. I have known I have been heading this way for some time. 

And so it is agreed--

I did not say that.

Let us drink--not to health, but still a toast. Gather the malted. (Surely you have a bottle left). A toast to intentions, to honor, to curses and miracles, to the indomitable spirit that makes from death, life. To faith.

To faith. Boyo.

I could play you in with some entrance music.

That is not funny.

Wit is not my specialty.

You lie, sir.

(together): Let us proceed.




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