Dusting for Prints

Another piece of sand. Descending into monumental decay. Returning to the brothers that have fallen before. Forming a pyramid that stands in defiance to life's precious disappearing act. Another night of silence. Just the mute collision of words. Harboring themselves against the heart's weary intentions. Another hour. Surrounded by memories and moments and dried tears. Just another bottle of lethal absence, measured and secured...and mounted on the shelf.

A heart beat. Distant but steady. Battling the brutal sounds coming from the expanding metal factories. Riding a tide of absolution. Racing toward a meeting of minds. A twisted idea of common ground. A wave of static crashing into the fragile receptor...disintegrating the incoming message beyond recognition. News from home. Lines of a telegram. Fragments of a poem. Some essential vessel carrying a meaning...delivered but never received. Taken out to sea. Lost forever.

The witnesses are bowing their heads in shame. Shielding their mist-covered eyes from the judgment that emanates from nowhere. Directed at nothing. Wearing their dark cloaks -- covering anything that might otherwise become exposed. Pocketing their hands deep inside. For warmth. Or for some other reason. Burying something from sight. Suffering. Lone testimonies. Curses. Misinterpretations. Allowances. Justice. A fistful of printed papers -- something for their trouble...something for their suspended sense of humanity.

To and fro. Here and there. Points along a map that form constellations projecting our image of progress...our idea of enlightenment. With a note pinned to the side. Imploring the casual observer to take a closer look at the legend. To track down the loose ends and draw their own conclusions. To apply a squinted eye where they see fit. Wondering what set of crooked fingers have handled this blurred document. Few things can be trusted less than a line drawn on a piece of paper. And even though we all instinctively know this, most will gladly accept the slightest tangible evidence of truth placed in front of us. Keeping it simple. How many versions of reality do you need, anyway? The white man's burden in action.

Picking up on the final ring. To find only a dial tone. Turning in response. To find an empty sidewalk. Arriving late. To find a room full of chairs. Checking your invitation at the door. Taking a seat in the back to await the choir that left town on the last bus. One step behind. Two steps away. Three steps until dawn. Four steps to the exit. Past the sleeping guard. Into the foggy evening. The hourglass turning upside down. One more time. Measuring the distance between dissolves. The sandman busying himself with the usual formalities. Sweeping away the collected debris of another day. Into the far reaches of awareness. Preparing the set. Caught up in minor details. Allowing you to slip by unnoticed.

Will anybody pay any mind if you sit this round out?... What chance is waiting to be missed? What unspoken covenant is lying by the side of the road?...to be washed away by the street cleaners. Stepping aside and sticking to the shadows. Picking up the signal. A voice is rising. Mixing with the sweet elevated breath of a gentle breeze. A shot is fired. One more reminder of the war we've been fighting for centuries. A cloud is forming. Floating across the sky and taking the shape of Mercury -- winged shoes and all. On another mission from above. Waiting patiently...as the innocent drift into slumber...and delivering his message. Striking into the depths of consciousness.

Do you think you can repeat that? Again...

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Return to the Fold




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