Open into the humidity of life. No bells ring but there are chants. As there are waves, which suck forth and blow through. I watched her and she watched me, pleasant company. The sharp angles. The crude malignments. At peace goes the dial reset. At peace we traveled into ripple and triptych. Self. Other. Else. Permanent trigonometry. No gust for the wicked. No truth for the wicked. Another wax museum. Another tan. I watched the boats pass us as we landed into the temporary void.
Signal zero. Language partially understood. A sequence of vibratory notes: deflation of her grace and inflation of my beard of salt. Teeth of malice. Chewing across the root of a land crushed by shells. No birds. No tourists. No community. The long expanse floating by in abject stillness. Object stills we could flash our eyesight at forever. The wanes and the wilds. Permanent pleasure of the absence of our cruelties. No breeze but in us. No fright but in the chance of a windswept storm, which is language.
There is no understanding but in stable hums and lounging swings. The longing of nothing sings. Hammock at feet. Watermelon perched upon rattan shelf. The extension of the slightest carving. We will build our energy to expend it. We will look at tonal shift and we will moan. We will wander fern trek and moon balance to find our sprays. We agreed, and then we agreed again. For there was nothing inside. Totality expelled. The dejection of the mirror. Island crackling before cloud divot.
I am no good for there is no good when we sit, and wait. We watch, and wait. We wave, and shade waves too. Who are you, Khmer speaker? Who are you that I must know you, that I must travel beyond regret and guilt to feel you? Subtle embrace despite aqua stance, distance of the shell, opal sun bleaching, my own body responding attuned through platonic instrumentation. Public face, I adore you, but public face, I must face you. For she will fall down her hair and gaze intently.
Rhythms I would shrug off like crab meat. Noodles. Rice. A million ways to say “Fish.” The zenith no longer a question of “will” but, instead, “how?” Burgeoning and blugeoning, the tide is a malevolence, but one we gawk at, like sailors lost of fingers, like hypnotists bored with patients, patience. I have fondled the image beyond the ways to count, and I sit marveling. Practice opening the shutters. Feel the Piscean warmth welcoming. There is a holy atmosphere. But we are beyond holy, aren’t we?
I would stay here if it meant the freshest cuts and the firmest grasps. Handles made of bamboo, or perhaps steel. I prefer the smaller fish, characterized in cartoons on television, though here they would be dead, for we have trees and we have meat and we have shores to be explored. You’ve given us that. You’ve let us ponder it. The fragility of an untouched space of mind. Do you know the moment to shatter? Do you know with what clemency this space speaks to us? These problems are real.
Say “jump” and I will. Say blink and I will stub the toe or splinter the heel. I will become the wounded soldier. Like a dreadnought, I sit and wait. Captains die thinking of how to steer the slowest moving craft. Age will kill us all. The trees mock us. We cannot force them all down. Metal dulls. Vision dims. Appendages grow weak while we swim and then the urchins capture us, and we are paralytic. We are forgotten by the waves, as much as they are forgotten by us. A swirl and a chill. Structures.
Perhaps I was wrong for bringing you here. Perhaps I never should have returned. That which is crude holds me back and it’s nothing but myself, constructed within like a bauble, a talisman, a blanket, a state of mind. Stateless we sit or stand or walk or run or are laid into stillness. For so much pain, I did stay true. I did deliver images. I brought you the gift you deserved, and for that there will be suffering until we are dead, when we will suffer more, dissected at the lingering grays of hip.
If you want resolution, go find the colorful birds. If you want depth, speak to the hills. If you want fatigue, speak to the lightning, and the thunder, as it crashes, makes you falter, makes you crumble, makes you marked in your bed as you feel the strangle of guilt, a monster atop you, beast, you stink in the night. If I could feel my way out of this, I would gather the stones I collected and clutch them tight to my neck, and feel their pulse. But my claws scratch and even the thickest skin pricks.
It is before us. It is after us. It will always remain, and for that I am sorry. The challenge was too deep. The murky inlet though conquerable stole something from me. Your glory. Your blaze of eyes and tongue of draw: perchance you paint the image further, how will you imagine it? I wait with punctuation that pauses and distills. The banister is a beautiful object and watching you next to it describes the truth. Up to my neck in abyssal water, I knew we survived. Resultingly, the tide’s charms.
There will never be an “us” for “them” and, as fleeting images go, so be it. I am ready to be deceptive. Allusive. I am ready to stick my face forward and open my mouth. I am ready to wag my face like a dog’s rear and make flatulent noises with my mouth. Let me be savage. Let me have the strength to abuse. Or don’t. You might just as well take it away. And I feel fingers drift like buoys envisioned, then clouded, and departed. Nothing bountiful stays in a land of plenty, upraised and criminally pristine.
Muck and shade. Rucksack and bee sting. The ants marching forever. The water fleas. The sand flies. Ghost crabs returning, their charm in their small term of fate. Lift beer, sip, and repeat. Love and repeat. Expatriate. Be the exorcism, flight from the host. That which held you close, like a virus, a disease, an addiction. You have earned it. You have learned the proper way to prop and so your congratulations are well-deserved. This distance, this vast post-colonial presence, it’s wretched and it’s yours.
Except if we have a beacon, greater relationship. The port and the influx upon us. It comes and it is a mass, a quivering, evolutionary body of individuals. Rupture of seams. Plug of gut. They overwhelm. World of delusions. Imperfection arrives to terrorize the livelihood of the long daydream. Blood and sewage and excess. It will haunt you and it will close the tubes in your throat. The waters will stifle and silence will arrive. Even the living branches of exotic flora will bow down and weep.
End of (2)