A Kiss of Legacy

It amuses me how many books were never lost. Though the cities crumbled and the libraries burned down, the data remained. As society slipped into the black hole it had birthed upon itself, the matter was destroyed but the information remained intact.

Granted, it took a few hundred years for the new colonies to unscramble the data, but it was all there. From Harry Potter to Tolkien, from the Hunger Games to Divergent to the script of Interstellar. These words and images were refined into shots for dispersion. At first all you had to do was take a walk to the drug store, purchase a pack, and head home, but the stories were too good, too great, too easy an escape.

Within a few years, the books were banned, but junkies kept them in the back allies and unlit halls, spreading these memories like a disease.

My friend Tabitha got too caught up, soon enough she couldn’t tell a horse from a Hippogryph or a sunrise from the eye of Sauron. She got locked up. I heard she still screams as she breaks the glass and the whole world shatters.

The truth is, I slip too. That’s what they call it, slipping. Back before only the data remained, you followed the words, they called it reading, but now it’s just a shot and reality slides away. For a while, you’re gone. It’s pure bliss.

But I gotta take it slow, can’t end up like Tabitha. Or James. Demal. Alicia. Collin. Won’t get myself locked up, not like that. Not ever.

There’s a soft spot on my wrist where the blank page fades away. I push my leather wristband down and see that small patch of blue and brown, always bruised, always fresh and raw like the stories I slip in. The books are glass capsules the size of fingertips, one end chiseled to a point. It just looks like water till it hits the air, then it shines in all the colors of the story inside.

As it drains into the syringe, this one turns green and yellow, a rich russet brown. The Canterbury Tales. A classic. I love the fresh air, the sound of streams, the scent of pine needles in the brush. I don’t feel it anymore when the needle goes inside, when the words fill my veins. Instead this bleak horizon starts to blur, to blend, and suddenly, softly, I’m standing in a castle.

Time for the story to sweep me away.

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Lingering on Twilight

We stayed up all night drinking and now you’re sleeping and I’ve got a cigarette smoking between my lips and through the spreading fingers of its blue smoke I see the first rays of sunlight as they trickle inside the seams of the curtain and fall across your body, buffered by the clothes you forgot to remove. I untied your shoes, pulling the laces until the loops unraveled, slipped them off and set them aside. I ran my hand along your leg, felt the muscles twitch, you danced too much tonight, didn’t take time to rest, now you feel it, and my hands rise and fall with your chest like catching the tide one small wave at a time before something stronger sweeps it aside.

I tap the ash away, watch a plume of smoke slither upward through the morning haze, and undress myself until I’m skin deep in silence split every few seconds by the soft hiss and sigh of your breath. I slide into you and over you, feel every part of my body begging for every part of yours, separated by fiber and slumber. Your hair smells like sandalwood and patchouli, the back of your neck tingles my chin as I rest my head on your shoulder, and my hand draped across your body rises and falls until dreams obscure the thin folds of cotton and fur between us.

Disturb Me Not

Let me hang this paper on my doorknob
neither knock nor enter, I am dreaming
let me lie here with my eyes closed
my soul pressed to your memories
imaging for a moment when I open
my eyes I’ll see you beside me
let me hold my pillow to my chest
the pulse in my thumb a surrogate
for your heartbeat, let my headache
throb in my mind like drumming
your breathing, pull another blanket
atop me, pretending its warmth
is your body pressed into mine
let me hold my hands around these dreams
do not stir me from my imagination
even as I witness morning light
pry aside my eyelids, let me shut them
taste a moment longer your lips
as we wake together, let me remember
what a bed is meant to be, remember
what is the grass before we’re taught
each sliver is a blade, before daisies
turn to weeds. Let me pull the petals
counting in my half-sleep still dreaming
disturb me, disturb me not.

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Alexandre

Chance brought us into focus
Like a camera angle turned
from one end to the other
to the city destined to be burned

Perfection could have caught us
in the manner of our speech
the silent minutes laughing
the first time did we meet

How is life, your daydreams
since you cut me at the cord
your friendships failing, lifted
your father on the porch
Did it ever change you
the distance that you sought

If for a moment your words
were once again to reach me
I could only venture forth to ask if you still laugh
at Bridget Jones on TV?