by Randal Graves
Night comes with the smell of sulfur and a hospital gown, the continuo sound of the winged, scratching psychopomp passing above. I pause those syllables to drink in the ponderous, solitary sonority of dead hours before resuming this intaglio chamber piece. Words are refracted in an askew, drunken pace, the heard half of the dialogue less mystical fugue, more fractured pop song, nonsense to the grasses so serpentine in the lunar breeze and, truth be told, me.
Underneath the long-limbed trees, I pondered the hermeneutics of their leaves, not wishing to linger upon the glimmering contract I had just spoken. The nourishment that once coursed invisible in their fibrous tendrils – now browned, desiccated veins long vanished into dust – runs ever slow, closer to hibernation. But in time, the vertical maze of boughs will return to life, shedding its grave stasis, threading fresh, verdant fingers sensitive to touch.
Time slipped deeper into slumber, and I waited. Subconsciously conjured, pitchy ghosts circled my form seated against the gnarled pillar. And still I waited.
Undulating away from sleep draped lovingly over me, I carefully laid it down upon the matte luster and moved towards the recently afflicted earth. The spade split apart the picnic of worm-infested roots.
I wondered if one last psychosis had laid its fetid egg within my brain.
I wondered if the lines meshed in contrapuntal darkness would hatch this gift.
I wondered no longer if such music had visited those ears, for below the grain, she began to stir.