All those people, their beliefs so firmly rooted that nothing manages to shake them loose, nothing whatsoever, even though fear shines from their eyes, fear that so easily turns into collective anger, there you are, the reality created by the congregation of minds, and ready to devour anyone who dares raise a whisper of doubt. No room here for the solitary walker, the individual endeavour, the voice of dissent. No one steps out of line, the crack of the whip, the bullet in the back of the head, you must keep walking, keep walking, this death march towards the inevitable gas chambers, conveniently disguised as salvation, and woe the one who doubts. We shall overcome. The trail of religion through history covered in blood, devastating weapon in the wrong hands, and wrong hands there are aplenty.
Thus spoke the prophet, and it was good, as one God erroneously noted, probably just casting a disinterested glance behind him at the world as he hurried off to the next project, busy as he, or she, or something in between or something else entirely, was. How would I know? How would anyone know? We’re just guessing, no clothes on this emperor, but hey, don’t tell anyone, it’s a secret. And do remember that bullet to the head….
This is not poetry. In no way can it be described as poetry, in no way do I express something beyond platitudes. In no way do you intrude upon my peace of mind, and in no way do I ever want to bother with you again, this is a new place and a new time, I haven’t got a past and no past has got me tied in. I am nothing but a dark silhouette on my window pane split by the horizontal lines of blinds. Blind. I am nothing but a clock escaping every second as you watch. I am nothing but sounds passing through my head and leaving nothing. No traces to unravel and hesitantly halt me in my tracks. No glue to keep my mind set, no words to shed the light of fake reality into this perpetual darkness. No questions to be answered and no truths and no lies. I’ll leave you wondering where you left me, I’ll leave you wandering the misty fields of disbelief where no sun shines through and every call is answered by the echoes of denial and yes, you can have my love too if you want it, I don’t really need it anymore.
For a long time I convinced myself that I didn’t remember you at all, but not anymore. The time of self-delusion is over, and of course I remembered: The colour of your hair, the smile in your eyes, the way your skin felt under my fingers at night, everything that wasn’t here anymore.
But really, there is a limit to how long such imagined recollections of sensations can be drawn out, slowly and irrevocably they withered into unrecognisable ruins of whatever they once were. And this is what you have become, faint ghosts of recollections floating about as tiny electrical currents in some desolate attic of my mind. They no longer have the power to cause pain, stirring no actual memories of the pleasure you once gave me.
I’m sorry if that disappoints you, but it’s not like you left me a choice, is it? Not that you had any reason to, I’m not placing myself on a pedestal here, the two of us unwittingly concocted the messy ending long before it actually happened.
But I forget, you don’t really care one way or another anyway, do you? I mean, if you’d cared, you would have asked me at some time, right? And you never did.
Nobody lived south of the river because that was not really an inhabitable place. A dumping ground for anything that had seemed useless at some time, the bank and the flatlands immediately behind were shrouded in an impermeable stench of chemicals and decomposing waste. The ruins of what used to be luxurious dwellings for the economical and political elite now looked like rows of sore teeth from the other side, the blackened and jagged silhouettes reminders of the fierce air attacks in the early days of the war when it still seemed possible to identify two separate sides in the conflict.
Now, three years on, the fighting, when it took place, was more akin to gangs of armed robbers plundering randomly, or simply terrorising the inhabitants out of boredom, young men – yes, always men – drunk with power, using words stolen from ancient books to justify their apparently insatiable lust for rape, dismembering, and murder. Actual battles were rare, and consisted mostly of skirmishes to determine the borders of influence of differing armed fractions.
He had this on his mind as he entered the area with the carrousels of incoming luggage to pick up his orange, wheeled trunk, and that was why he didn’t notice her until she was beside him and addressed him by his name.
Who cares where this leads to? Who cares if girls come sneaking upon you from the darkness behind, from the only tentatively forgotten dreams of possible, but doubtful reality? Who would even notice these barely visible ghosts from some off-court and unrecognised locations of the mind as they flitter past, leaving only the sour taste of dry fairyashes in your mouth? Who wants to be the unloved messenger pointing out the kink in the purportedly impeccable armour, punishable by death, or worse, condemnation to the eternal throes of pain from lovers just out of reach?
Not me, he said, brushing a final imaginary fleck from his sleeve before walking away, the ashes of his dreams slowly fluttering to the ground behind him.