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Wool-Gathering (III)

Trina Burke

The door flips down, a drawbridge. Hall space, a moat. I am a knight, I have my sword. Nothing so astonishing as a cavernous warren. What light I see an adjustment or acclimatization. What shadows I take away mine, and my mind changed forever in aspect and mechanism. I am a knight, I have my sword. A stinging drowse toward dreaming. What goes marching, what goes counted. What drums beaten. A field of smoke and straining to see the action. A scent of foul burning. What will you do, when you survey your holdings and find them unfit? It could totally ruin you, but then again, the eyeless-ness is itself a cross to bear, unrepresented on the face. The smoke that rises over an over-turned chair set ablaze is merely the visual actuation of a scent—lighter fluid meets lacquer and we are liquored in our senses by the kicking, drunk with violence, soused on shriek. The lamb on the mountain only lows curious, without judgment. But we feel judged and we resent it—the lamb, the mountain, all of it. The noise of the world around us is a stain on our hearts. With each passing hour we accrue more of its filth. I tear it off me with my one hungry tooth. What will you do? The fear of outcomes bleeds through the skin, growing as a goldfish grows to fit its pond, and boundaries—be they membranes, skin cells, fabrics, walls, water pressure—un-define. Can you feel it wash over you, barreling through the citizens of our district? It is a wicked air we breathe. We crave it with such foolish consistency. We are trying to do honor in what little ways we know. Spreading significance like margarine. Is it working? Is it tasty? I grow weary, my attention span is shortening. The hard work of weeks can’t be fit into a day. Welding takes temperature. We are unfortunately out of firewood. Instead we pull on strings stretched taut, experiment with length.

Trina Burke

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