Sunday, May 27, 2012

Old Flames XVIII: A Beautiful Hope

Dazzling spectacles, I talk of you often. This was the last thought before evening. The sun crashed into the earth, wet from drinking, wayward from scotch. This was the last prayer of the infidel.

What a time, we had. What a holiday we conquered. This Roman joke of a Christian new year, celebrated in the peak of summer sweat and seduction. Oh, lovely traveler, where have you been for the year? This season will cure what ails you in this forbidden heat. Sure, give me the bucket of rain to make mist. Give us the mystery, they wailed. I make the weather here. In this neighborhood, I'm the chump-sotten god. I'm the one that broke bread with the Devil because he had free cable. This is our promise massacre. This was that last dynasty of brothers. It was a the final trick of the demon that spent the winter under my bed, playing cards with bad decisions, gambling everything.

But this summer has already been a soft spot in my heart attack. It's new to my touch, after a beaten spring of trial and error, mutiny and mistake, beloved and born-again. Screwed up from the very beginning, I had one chance to not set fire to suburbia. I coughed it up in the backseat of a Cadillac and wrote the poetry on a pizza box years later. I read it again in the caverns of my head and called it the roast of the century. I remember youth. I remember the olli-olli-oxen-free.

This is the next scene, but not the finale one. This wasn't the last bike ride, was it? This wasn't the last patriot barbecue, was it? I have so much more of America to love. I have so many more hearts to cover and favors to call in. I have so many dying wishes. I couldn't go to the grave without a lawyer's legal pad. I want my will written underground. I want my last taste to be poison. I want all regrets to flood out of my bullet hole wounds. I want all desire to keep me warm in the good, gracious cool halls of Heaven's waiting lobby. But don't call it limbo. I didn't bring a schtick.

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