Once upon a time, a skylark sang in the backyard. Then the birdsong stopped. Sudden, harsh, cutting. A certain death, but still not quite. I asked myself, “Where did I go wrong?” A voice said, “You even make our winged friends flee to the free south.” We had dinner that evening outside of the torture chamber that was once called ‘home’. Everything will be fine, I promise. The voice in my head was my own. That voice also knew what would inevitably arrive on a gleaming white, cold ceramic plate. After much debate about the menu, the order of things were finally served up in a different way.

At times, we do not want to eat something light, because we constantly feed on light. A glimmer, a partial shadow cast across chipped concrete, a stretched form against an anonymous wall that we dance around when we are small people. Playing tiptoe with the self. Without light, there are no shadows. Without shadows, you and I do not exist. What was once art, fun, childish, transforms into a curious ego that melts away and sticks like candle wax deliberately dripped onto clean bed sheets. No point trying to drive a ragged, flaking thumbnail underneath the seemingly soft edge to pick at the damage and make it pure again. For all the eye can see, it is picture perfect as it quickly sets in a fluid form.

The change is as violent as a hastily taken illicit photograph. Still, the image can betray the true form of what was played out in that very moment. “She likes me. She always shows me attention. I wonder where she gets her tits from.” The sudden quicksand of humiliation. Sinking in public view, I can elegantly tread water, but quicksand is the gaping jaw that swallows shadows gladly, eagerly, indulgently and without remorse. When the shadow has finally been consumed, there is nothing left behind but a shell. Those shells can be boiled, buried and even thrown away, but still, the splintered skeleton will stick in the envisaged back teeth of kissing snakes forever more.

“Did you know?” Blank. “Did you know?” Blank blank. “Did YOU know?”Denial then eternally hoping for sorrow.

Someone, somewhere is still looking in the mirror glass searching for their own remains with a certain suicide in their own eye.

 

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