Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Old Flames IV: I Was Sleeping A Mountain

I was sleeping a mountain and coughin' up earth. I slept for days and buried my curse somewhere in Texas, somewhere with a pile of gold and a pistol. We were beggars then. We're bankers now. But we can call it one too many games of three card monty out in the desert. Ride our horses straight into the sunset. But what came? The future rolled with with lighting and thunder, wrecking the dark skies with pale blue and white. So, so pretty, we all said.

But these were days of hot suns and hot damns and the summertime gatherings. Mariners in the lake, darlings in the creek, love awash in dueling streams. There were no need for strings then. No harps, no nooses. We just built our houses with stone. No hanging, no swinging, no playing anthems for choir angels. Though we could use the light, you best ride your horse as fast as you can before the silver screen burns.

This is the future blow, kid. We've got the theaters and the parks for orphan youth to bury the hatchet. We've still got the criminals and crooks. We've still got the roller-coaster that never stops, not in any of us. We've still got the sunsets, the gardens, the fairweather prayers. What was ever wrong with this roof? We could watch the sky send sunshine through skin, breaking the solstice, tickling sparks through the small towns nearby.

I remember these pages of books. I recall these campfire tales of loneliness and grief. No kid grows up wanting a second chance. Why wouldn't we get it right the first time? I looked at my dog once and realized he'd never smoked a cigarette or broken a heart. No one hated him, nobody ever bothered him. I took one last sip of my orange juice and stared at him while he napped. When he woke up, he licked my cheek and everything settled. But, for one night, I figured my dog was smarter than me.

I also remember driving you home in a white dress, I remember losing my heart before my head and I remember coming home with slumped shoulders and a prizefighter grin. I drank honey that summer. I drank cold water. I drank rum in the shade. And that's when I found prayer, though only to the ghosts of history. After too many cigarettes, ask me for a ride home. It's time I should leave.

See you on the other prairie, rhinos.