i. She sat straight on the bar stool legs crossed tightly
stared abstractly through the buzz surrounding her in the stillness she created within that spot
a magic trick you couldn’t create if you tried
opened owl eyes into grief creating emptiness inside the rowdiest bar in the neighbourhood.
No one dared point a finger.
We tried not to look at her but it was hard.
So we looked out of the corner of our eye when we walked past, our heads thrown back fake laughter all the while drawn towards the silence of that pain the peripheral gravity that wouldn’t let us settle into our evening of forgetting.
The louder the laughter the deeper her pull.
Still she sat against the clinking glass ice cube slide and when it was too much truth we linked arms and left her there alone.
When we returned, she was gone.
ii. I thought about him all day
immersed in his voice, the knock-knocking intensity that gripped the inside of my head.
I understood (almost, really just almost) after staying in that horrible wave of truth and power and no stillness whatsoever where the words move around your body in tightening magnetic fields that won’t let up
not even for a breath
He strangled for a simple breath, begging in his very last line, for someone to tell him how
I wanted to tell him
in and out that’s all but he was already breathless
off the page
to a place (no place)
with no fear no more sound.
iii. This is the last one
no cause for celebration no rockstardom
because what you’ve made won’t last
the eternity sleep
the crystalline inorganic solidity of it
your life stopped
at its most fragile, beautiful point
poised for so much more
than just success
that relative, reprehensible word that masks and tears your life into diamond dust needles.