Rose,

The fear I feel at the thought of leaving a bed with you fills me with a distress that becomes a rage upon my unrested shoulders, hunched here and naked and hot-blooded from dreams, on the floor near the bathroom. Clyde is inside. He smokes in the empty porcelain bath and thinks, about what, I'll never have the ability to understand. 

I'm a slumping machine, wound of tight muscle and cold realization to leave you to the night unguarded; and that's what I do, all creative endeavors of ill-conceived intent aside. Guard you through all dark places of the other world we both in our hearts call home more than ever we did this one. 

You murmur for me. Bradley? How often I have left you there, alone. But then I never had such a need to guard you as I do now, being also what pursues you. The throat of me is tight in a righteous kind of shame, to drown you in the delight of a long night without waking. To open your heart to me the places you have always been unwilling. To hold you in a tight embrace that sets my teeth grinding in your ear. 

Rosie, I'm a man built of mechanics low and unjust. I've been shrouded by an action too old to name and too long-remember to release me. I...could
count
myself
a king....

of

infinite

space

were it

not

that I have

bad




dreams. 

I walk cleanly in the light day now severed from the place of my birth where I knew a creeping doubt for safety as neither safety nor doubt existed. The science of us spelled so neatly on a page is distasteful to me because it might somehow be distasteful to you. My wrist pops with the weight of all my disasters heavy in this pen knuckling me close and down to some leaden awareness that all is truly lost. 

You've minced me down a corridor to some idle school boy's fantasies. I know in a heartbeat I am the gentlest of poets, but not to be marked in word. Rather, in soft mouth and coy looks to the deception of some master, his cane a sharp reminder of what a dozen years of poetry might slender it's sly meter into the heart of an unbearded student. 

But mark me, Rose. Even in poetry is a violent heart shrouded by florid word and noble deed, placed as easy on the mantle of a villain as a hero. As easy as any feat done in dreams. And somehow the blame is mine; that their idleness of mind is the root of all deceptions and not their inverse. That the false witness of a perishing night is the blame of the witness born falsely. 

What spectacular madness I cultivate in your stead, my sweet Rose, to keep but the one truth at bay. Poets....did you count it well that poets are always safe in dreams? Count it now, in your sleepful madness, my precious girl, that selfsame are children, and the unborn, and the splintered minds of your captives. We sip the cold elixir of a fading moon and a quiet thought to bring to us what we find. Eventually, what we find. 

T.W.

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