November Song by Ron Gibson, Jr.
On the edge of me, this light is hard to read when censor marks blight, broken trails disappearing beneath shifting shadows, and I swim, unseen, for the surface calm protects me from me.
On the grand opening of my skin, the world will hear all the unheard. Musicologists will chase down notes like black nuclear snow, never to preserve the true melody. For the song will tangle the teeth of ivory. For the song was not a song, but actually the inverse of thunder. Rolled onto player piano, they will hear the tumbling hum of dead air.
As a boy, night and I did not agree. I would leave my bed of airless space, each night doomed to die a thousand times, as I swam in zero g back to life. I would wake to the dawn of mother’s TV—nighttime soaps framed in smoke—and she would say, ‘Go back to bed.’ Go back to die. So I went away to my makeshift nest of blanket. My cheek burned against bosom of drier machine; its rhythmic hum held me throughout the night, telling me to shush.
Morning offered itself, in quiet plea, a small bird, in my ear, and in me rose heat, as I rose from tangled plain of blankets, new inside cold.
Sunless day played November’s song—an old song, whose melody has made the rounds on windows, in gutters, on skylights. In me, my heart conducts control, steers flesh where I want it to go, so I did as I do, and you did as I say.
Another morning inside a storm, together, listening to poetry from the skies, in my voice. I read you to life, so you may touch heated lines that enter you, in your ear, a small bird from William Stafford to you from me by way of a hawk, a talon, an electricity that steals your voice, as I take and take all I want, all you give, all that is.
When you came, you went. When you went, you came, and I could not find you, for the stars had reclaimed.
Your body went worldless, your mouth went wordless. All you spoke came staggered gasps in calming hush.
On the ridge, from this great height, all appears manageable below. All lights stab through dark, lifelines breaking distance. Hocus pocus unsaid, this dark remains under my hat, a small bird. I will claim you were a dream. That you were world within words. That you were the space where air goes to sleep. That you were the body within the hush. That shush between the staggering gasps of loneliness that kills the lights on the way out.
Ron Gibson, Jr. has previously appeared in Pidgeonholes, Cease Cows, Maudlin House, Sick Lit Magazine, Word Riot, Exquisite Corpse, Spelk Fiction, Soundzine, Alien Mouth, etc…, forthcoming at Story and Picture & Ginosko Literary Journal, been included in various anthologies, and been nominated twice for a Pushcart. @sirabsurd