can you hear the sound of the wolves in the night
when the full moon has blanketed us in light
I held a note in my pocket I forgot to read
I went to read it aloud but the words escaped me
it had been too long spoken from crumbled years
I knew I could not go back to high chairs
I am the hunter who became the meal
swallowed whole in the night by the wolves I fear
When we were young and our mothers and fathers would creep into our rooms at night to whisper in our ears everything they were not. To whisper the truths only relative to themselves. It made no difference the aftermath the years of half slept days moved on by the night. What if. What if Mom and Dad had told the truth. That they met at a young age and became immature lovers and friends. When the time came for change they high tailed it out of dodge and when the grass that looked so much greener before had been just a mirage, that instead of turning back and turning to a pillar of salt they kept moving farther and as strangers in opposite directions. That there were many days lost in the space between the tears we cry. I wish somehow they would have explained this to us when we had gotten older and when they knew what they had done. Do you see the footprints in the snow after all these years or has the sun burnt you up. And mother do you still feel his hand in yours and see the smiling faces that we once had? Its too late now many times over we have purged the inexhaustable well we have run this into the ground and the only thing left is the devistation of two young adults walking away.
We never took nothing for granted never had nothing handed to us. So when it came time to experience sublime we felt it full shine. I know what it’s like to be close to your mother to wake with her in the other room heart beating boom boom baboom. And on my birthday when dad left and never turned back mom was always there to pick up the slack. So when she asked me what I wanted for my day all I could think was how can I make this special for everyone else.
(exhalation) can you remember a time when “easy” was an everyday vocabulary word and “love” rolled off the tongue like trying to tie a knot in a cherry stem. Seems these days the only easy love is two clicks of the mouse away. I do not know when the tide turned when I became so cynical. I do know these are just shadow days since I let my first born go. Even though I have put to bed the fear that haunted me then. A new mistress has found it’s way back to my pillow at night. I sleep with the enemy. I speak with the devil and any conversation he always wins. I have given in to the temptation I have given in the the long walk home. I see a vain in the distance beckoning me the right way home but at this point all seems lost in this desert and I fear this mirage may never lead me back.
Man I wish I could go back and reallign the wrongs because I miss my son and she is long gone. I call and get voicemail with the box too full to leave a message goodbye heard this too often these days and that’s if i’m lucky enough for a letter left on the counter saying how much you love someone else. It’s not ok you left and took my fucking son. It’s not ok you never send pictures now that you’re gone. Maybe it’s better this way at least if I do not see him it will keep my wandering mind from ever thinking there is a chance you will come back. Well played. Well played.
When I was a kid in the fourth grade I moved to the midwest from the Golden State, where I had been living at the time with my mom and younger sister. I never knew my father as a kid because my mom and him split when I was a child. She moved west to California with us four kids to be near her family and he stayed in Illinois, so he never was around. This was the mid to late eighties and drugs like cocaine ruled the streets. My father was an addict which I never knew till I reached my twenties and put it together myself. As a kid growing up my dad was a voice who called as often as he could. Even as a kid I knew that something was missing from my life and I wanted to know the voice at the end of the line. When I was in the fourth grade I asked my mom if I could go live with my dad for a while in Illinois. Even though I was her youngest she agreed it would be good for me. I remember how awkward it seemed to go live with my dad. What would he be like? What would he think of me, no longer a child?
At the time we lived in a tiny two bedroom cottage house in the suburbs of Chicago where my dad would work graveyard and leave us to take care of ourselves most days. My older brothers were always there to lead the way. One time I had been banned from the television which meant I could not watch it. I remember just dying to watch “Eeeek the cat!!” Which meant I had to decide whether or not it was worth the risk, Knowing my dad would be home any minute. I will always walk the line, and I knew how satisfying it would be to watch “Eeek”. I rolled the dice. Snake eyes. Dad came home early I tried to rush to my room and pick up a book to and make out like I was reading. ”Hey , were you just watching tv?” asks my dad. “My day was good, thanks for asking.” I reply. “SHUT THE FUCK UP SMART ASS” he exclaimed as he leaned in to clobber me but i quickly moved out of reach and countered with a right hook to my dads temple. He dropped immediately and his body was still. “Dad?” I said in a shocked state. I leaned over him then and he was bleeding from his eyes. I knew I had killed him.
I turned dad over onto his back I took off his belt and placed it around his neck I then picked him up and set him gently on the edge of the bathroom tub so he sat upright. I took the opposite end of the belt and tied it to the shower curtain rod. One push and my father was a suicidal maniac.
Fourth grade was a watermark period in my life. A lot of fine memories spring from this time period. I can recall recess and chasing Milly Benoot and Rianne Burpette around and trying not to show how in love with them I was. I would ignore the teacher and stare at the clock waiting for that bell to ring and I would be running for the door. Even as a kid I fell in love with every girl I met.
It was in Mrs. Minus’s class where we had a class auction. It was my first. That plan was for kids in the class to bring in something from home to have for other kids in the class bid on. The way to earn bids was to do good deeds and save your bids till the auction day. I was so excited the day the auction came and I had a stack of “money” with which to bid, I know I did a lot of good deeds back then because I had a stack of bids. The thing is, even then I was always thinking of others and I knew that my Dad would appreciate something from his son. I knew very little about my father at this time too except the fact he grew up in Indiana on a farm… Farm…Farmer…He must be a cowboy! So when I saw a shiny belt buckle with a cowboy on it I knew this was the gift I was waitng for. The class murdered in anticipation to start the auction and as each item passed, numerous kids went back and fourth in banter over an item until only one kid remained victorious. When it finally came time to auction the belt buckle I waited cool and calm while Mrs. Minus held the item for the class to see it’s shine. “Up for auction is this-” “Here.” I stood and walked slowly towards Mrs. Minus.
I held 75 bids in my hands.
A silence fell over the class as I was handed the buckle. It was as if I had just found the Excalibur. The auction ended and the whole class was a buzz with talk of “The Buckle Incident”. I smiled quietly in the glow of dads new buckle and chuckled knowing my father would never understand the depths his son would go just to make his old man smile.
Audio track: Cage The Elephant -Melophobia
I always said I would try to write.
I made it a personal goal.
To remember my voice.
To be strong again.
When I was younger I made the mistake of not speaking
and though there is a world of beauty in silence
; too much can drive you mad
. We need communion.
So here I am, once again
back to this war torn path
syl la bles.
I missed you.