He comes back only when the Angel of God makes blue and yellow rings fall asleep on my fingers.
One night he swore his oaths upon our unmade bed and the river Styx.
His guitar swore its oaths upon a red rose.
This is not the time of year when his tears – chariots of fire – fall from the sky.
Neither that day of spring when I lie in bed covered by wedding veils.
Those are the only times when his soul plays guitar behind the Japanese screen in my bedroom.
You couldn’t hear him playing in the library.
So, what did you really hear?
Do you believe that his ghost hides inside his portrait hanging on the wall?
Oh, no! This is not a Harry Potter fantasy. His soul is not inside any portrait.
Now, I think it’s time for you to leave.
Why? Are you asking me why?
You saw the inscription below his portrait: granted just a quote he loved.
There are only three things to be done with a woman. You can love her, suffer for her, or turn her into literature.
Here’s your answer. You can’t do any of those things. So, you better leave.
No, his soul wasn’t here tonight.
Tonight, it is I who speaks, not him.
@short-prose-fiction (Gabriela M)
image: Anna Ismagilova; Shutterstock; [link]
quote attribution: Lawrence Durrell, Justine
…. ah, I forgot to tell you when I meet you in my dreams Arabella still sells bracelets in the silver market she asks me every time about you I lie and promise her you’ll come next time to buy another bracelet and some juicy limes
now in the silence of long purple nights my silver bracelets cannot hurt you anymore but every minute you are not with me cuts yet another wound into my soul
I can still hear that deep voice of his and see his striking profile against the walls of the Chartres Cathedral: tormented French Gothic autumn; agonizing blue eyes; gelid rain lingering on stained glass and trickling on my face like liquid wax at the feet of saints.
“Clara, Miguel needs to stop. He needs to give up. Make him do it or I will.”
Nobody could make Miguel give up. The verb “to give up” was not part of Miguel’s vocabulary.
Miguel was not General Santa Anna who lost the Battle of San Jacinto. At heart Miguel was Cortés. Cortés who conquered an empire. Cortés who enrolled God to help him. Cortés who destroyed and rebuilt.
Jacques had no chance.
Now, when I look back, alone in the mist of those haunting memories, my eyes lids heavy, my body weak, my lips cracked by fever, Angelo was right when he said:
“Wait, Clara, wait, you don’t know Jacques yet.”
In fact, none of us knew Jacques. Not even Angelo.
the biblical sense of to know
born in a summer that never existed
nailed to the cross of your poems
I’m losing my mind inside the blue night
I reach you in dreams you do not understand
It hurts when I’m there
It hurts when I’m not
I ask for the help gravediggers can grant
I wrote I love you on a note that I locked
It wasn’t a snake, it was an iguana
the night the tango nuevo played its guitar
on fifteen decades you counted your prayers
my fingers were naked
my fingers were gloved
Our destinies caught inside the lines of my left palm.
With my right index finger, I trace those lines again and again, until I cannot breathe anymore, until my left palm bleeds.
None of us can be judged outside endless flights between continents, outside of our tears and of our love for art, outside of the slippery slope that runs from amitié amoureuse to deep impassioned love.
One day all of us will have to understand that the past should stay in the past.
That day is inscribed in my left palm together with our pain, and our tendencies toward the kind of love that transcends earthly boundaries.
you do not know how many countries I have traveled how many marvels I have shown myself the names of the dead I’ve resurrected my victims’ kisses buried in a pink conch shell inside the whispers of the messianic Nazareth He who knew of His crucifixion picked up my tears broke the bread so I could lock the memory of my first kiss inside the rocks of the eternal Spanish Steps and walk again through fields of roses and lavender into gestating dreams of no constraints
yet see, all that happened before the day you came into my life the day when all the fallen saints with their fingers stretched the sky so we could have one single hour just for ourselves
first published September 22, 2019 (text slightly modified)
Vita Brevis just published Pain & Renewal: A Poetry Anthology. I have two poems included: The Dark Flag of Pain and Autumn Healing.
“Pain & Renewal features a collection of incredible voices — from Pulitzer and Pushcart prize winners to brand new poets, it’s filled with moving poetry about the highs and lows of the human experience.”