- Vol. 02
- Chapter 12
We’d Forgotten How to NightThe world ends and textures remain. Your senses stay open, lit up, keening for bird song that sounds russet and gold.
The fight goes on below. Red and dim and red.
Wounds pull you here, to the sweet musk of decay. Spiderwebs may be used as dressings.
These, she said, once were shelves. And held and held. All mouse-eaten now, or stove-fed. Stories go last but the codex form? It’s a toolbox, an emergency kit. To keep the wolf from the door.
It’s a child’s fantasy of a hideaway. A child scrunched fetal in a bomb shelter dreaming through her teeth of the sky.
Tonight the fire. Arms are linked, draped; distinct, the one coal ashed with scars; the other wood on the edge of burn. We spill words, and words. Furious luxury
The Margravine of the Marsh they call her (who they?). The name known in our heads, bell strike. She eats the mice, roasted.
We’d Forgotten How to Night
If glass were money, she’d be queen. Good for fires, yes, but you can’t eat it.
Another weapon in the kit.
Gold, honey, butter, lemon, saffron, turmeric: all gone. But the colour itself persists. Yellow as. —— yellow. We live a post-metaphorical existence.
Shall I compare thee to a day.
If/then everything is bare life, it all stands for each other: this flame, the page it burns, the mammal it roasts, the mammal waiting to eat, the shadows all one shadow.
When we arrived here there was no night. Below: arc lights, searchlights, tracers, high-powered beams, laser scopes, flares, white phosphorus falling. The war on dark.
We’d forgotten how to night. The rustles and creaks. Remembering loom, remembering blur.
Our arms rigid with terror, side-to-side. Bone to bone.
Nights count, forgotten. The taste of concrete dust in our mouths, weak fluorescent light from the bike dynamo. Later, those chemical greens that rendered everything in night vision. But loud. All night or no night: same as.
We’d Forgotten How to Night*
Light is something you put in a jar.
Light is something to do with glass.
Light’s behind the shelves of dark.
When dark is burned, there is light.
We sing her songs now.
Before she died, she said, “Don’t let me go to waste.”
Keep the wolves from the door.
When I was still small enough to play under the table, my cousin’s brains (were) bombed into my mouth. Hide/seek.
I have swallowed my own blood
&bile&snot&vomit&pride a hundred times.
We’ve licked clean each other’s wounds. The body, after the apocalypse, is the only emergency kit you can count on; can carry with you.
Of course we eat her. It’s honour.
When we leave, we take nothing. Not the blanket of yellow of yellow, not glass shards. Not her ribs, sharpened to blades. Not a part of ourselves, shelved.
We’d Forgotten How to Night
If you are reading this note, you have found the library and the last paper therein. Be safe here, for a while.