The Stones are Lain

The stones are lain. Houses in miniature. It’s how we strategize. An acuity of structure upholds our determination. To unfold the path of camaraderie. These pools of stone guard and produce the world we desire. Formless and chaotic, the place that imaginations unite to reach. Beyond the clouds, underneath the turf, between our sweating skins. Shields, infrastructurally unsound, bastion ahead. There are no experts here but our common shrewdness of heart. We call it the fantasy attached to our foreheads.

Passing my fingers over moist rocks placed with intent and fury. Memories fill up my lungs and my heart. Still moments birthing themselves into substance – at once the net and the water. Images of the city’s children, the corners of their smiles running down alleys, following a frog. Or the window that became a sonorous-event stage, an invitation to hear the pandemonium inside. Arrested and floating like this, I responded to the city – this discombobulated frenzy searching for organization. Currents of desire, fantasy and the most wretched base instincts, unanimously steering us all. Every brick and tile and tilted plane became a necessary card in the stack. The sky and the earth merged. We were the meandering pulses who gave the city to the city itself. Carrying on, pollinating our home, building and taking down – we reached. And the waters broke. I need language to hang on the armature of this new phantom. I wrote you that.

Nothing was swept away, buildings stood, people stayed for the most part. My duties were expanded. Now, I served a different kind of man. The kind that had an elevated position, as if he rode in on a watchtower. They came from places I had never been, sometimes I would catch a mention of how they were moving to grow their catchment area. Still, the brute exchanges they required were age-old. The sun shone down starkly. No thunder, poetic license or allegorical correspondence here. The change swept in in broad daylight and stuck. Insidious and silent. The city was muffled as if gagged within a persistent trauma. Invisible bodies screamed out. I was sure I heard them come as dust, stain the air with foreboding and become devastated by a passing carriage.

In one sense the city thrived – growing fatter, thicker walls, more luxurious statements of power were hung over our heads – beautifully stripping down our identity. By magnetism I was drawn to complicity yet repelled by the troublesome forms that fooled my senses.

The nation swelled at our banks, steadily overcoming our cluster of life. A slow-motion wind, cornering the clouds, sweeping the rains to one side and laying bare and exposed the lives we lived and the people we were. No cloud cover or subterfuge protected us. Maybe this dank fog, veiling around foot knows what I speak about. We stand now like monuments to yesterday, eroding and breathing in our former city, exhaling a long cold gasp for what it has become.

I sought you out. Ownership had its price and I forfeited my bind. We don’t talk as of late, the easy nature of our conversations are now a calcified memento. Rigid, exactly a token. I sent that pigeon to you. You know the one with a conspicuously pink feather? Yes! The pink feather was flowy and self-proliferative I used to feel embraced, known and bountiful after un-scrolling your messages. It all came easily, alongside droppings, marbled shit and the cuckooing. I felt in the bosom of manual love-labor. I’d write and write, every instant fit with curiosity. It was a puzzle and I knew its ending: a freshly flying pigeon disappearing from my view and appearing to yours. My script, like me wants to simply be read. But you stopped, well, the pigeon stopped. I started to see that pink feather in other winged middle-men but it could just as easily be my own imagining. Had you died? Grown tired? Our communication withered so abruptly. Why were you ghosting me. Your ghost greeted me at intervaled blinking instants, daily. Pen idle, my ears overhearing imaginary flights. My mindscape became a map within which I willingly lost all bearings. Building, falling, and changing before my very eyes, these streets staged the most epic and innate reflexes. Compartmentalized yet unified, bound together in that newfound difference. One state looking at the other, calling to be undone and then shape-shifting. Problem was, my heart was right there – at that surface where the molten liquid is cast against its porous counterpart.

I thought about that bird’s final flight. What did he see that I did not? The position of a carrier in the clouds, the land-sliding perspective he must have had. Relieving himself of that tiny scroll. Did he fall? A star shooting downwards. An empire stood between us, and never before did I feel the extraordinary mass of it. Its all-conquering, obstructionist presence. Your silence was not mere absence, it was at once an aftermath and a prelude. And there was I, tangled up in the very moment of movement.