These Untethered Affections
"I left you, and not just you--left us--when I ran out of love, ran out of gas on the desert road, ran out of my mind south of the great fire-breathing lakes that spat their old-age reminders that we've got an ancient gun to our heads, and we're holding the hammer, and I saw the sun sear the rise of Taranaki, and they said there was a Taniwha there, and I laughed, didn't believe it but then it was there in the road when I spun it out into the bush, steed in the Kauri, and me lying newborn-like in the cold road under the dark sky with the bright stars that've watched me since I was newborn-like, and then it was there, its eyes were some crazy thing, and it carried a stick, its skin like an old tanned flag waving even though there's no wind anymore, the shuffling and coughing and hacking and drunk of bathtub rum demon that lives in all the countryside here. Remember the time I almost drowned, almost, saving that kid that no one loved just off the bow of a man-o-war in the man-o-wars and he pulled me under to keep himself above, and down there I saw the shapes of the sea, these sea things gliding on the bottom just waiting for me to fall to them and I almost did, felt all peaceful-like and I could have just drifted to the sand which doesn't look gold but teal and let their barbs into me, I let everyone else's barbs into me, why not the sea's? We're sea people, on a ship not moving any longer, grounded home ship in the sea surrounded by the crashing ocean that you can look at and see nothing but nothing, and I know the sea is what I loved most and then I didn't even have love for it anymore, no love for the caps and the glass green windows that reflected the sun into me, travelled the long black night into me, into my heart and hands, and lips, and I put it into everyone else, and I slipped it into some chicks, and they knew there was something special in me but then let it go still; no I left when my love ran out, when I was just a rat on a sinking ship, and I jumped ship, and went on the tide and sailed to the bad-lands and loved the good woman and she said "come with me if you want to dream," and I said "yes I'll come," except she didn't know that I was already dead inside--just a corpse holding onto the last hand wanting to touch the rotting flesh of my loved skin. I abandoned you, but you decided to stay, because you've been here the whole time, my woman in the dark, I've seen you standing in the snow outside the evergreens, seen the mist shadows cling to you, around the river behind our home, and felt you trailing the tails of me in the forest, the nasal indulgences you partake of me, you've been here just not known it."