Twilight Comes with Stories to Tell — A Memoir

Chester at sunset in England UK United Kingdom

I am a man who builds caves for the shards of my soul and prefers my skin be romanced by the stingers of a mourner’s pipedream. This illusion does what God’s angels cannot – it hears my lamentations and dances adagios for my pity party: it fears my fears and shares in my pain. At dawn, it is manna for the appetite that stretches into the retiring horizon, and at dusk, it is all of my desires.

Love is surrender to the poison of pleasure. The torture is slow and screams dreadful utopia. It amazes me how when one begins to love, madness creeps in insomuch that even the counsel of the air and the passerine’s protests suffer condemnation. As I write you this letter, my head is beclouded by a queer billow and as I raise my pencil, my thoughts dissipate. I forget myself in the Bastille. I forget this memo’s destination. I forget my name. O, I am too quick to kill my misery and instead throw myself into plain torment. Forgive me, I have come this far on its rein and I do not remember again how to forge a smile or how to sculpt an embrace. Mourning is all I can do, at least until dying becomes a vassal and I forfeit my disappearing glory to its plate.

I am tempted by too many things, but this – your name, the lulling comfort that comes with calling it out loud, is a mystery and a trove drumming away from the carcass of time and I pursue it with so much passion. I am the hamlet’s libation: bitter, a token hanging from a dwarf willow. I am an adventurer but adrift and your name echoes on the dilating walls of my lips. You are my fantasy. You are my bane. I remember your voice. I remember its fine crescendo when you tell me about your day in the dimly lit room while I let myself into your soul’s antechamber seeking the things that never existed nor sought me, seeking shelter, seeking peace.

I am a man who has not known war, who has never unswathed a sword. I have always submitted to the tuck of the mahogany and dodged the fleece of the contest. My mother still tells me I am a warrior and that a warrior runs into a duel with his pride as a lantern. I am afraid. I have not yet seen a battlefront but I have been so conquered by the vultures of love. Maybe when I become your lieutenant and dance with the dragons and defy the strength of the gorillas, I will be worthy again and my mother will not see me as a defeatist. Let me go into the silhouette with the girth of a mountain and fetch for you lilac. Let me be your talon. The harmattan bears me witness as I go gentle into the night, holding your heart and singing the carols of my deepest desires.

Truly, love is a foolish man’s penance. A wise man knows the destiny of a loving man is with the vinegar in its journey to the forests to visit the ancestors’ wrath, a rare fortune left for castaways. I do sometimes wish such philanthropy befalls me and allows my spirit to soar like a sponge on an arrowhead, tearing through the warble of the air with arms spread out wide in benediction to the ashen ambition of imagination. My love, I have eyes but cannot see that tomorrow is vague to he who walks with an axe begging to be exiled into legend, waiting to be visited by a leopard and mauled into the pages of literature.

As I write to you, I argue with whatever tear that tries to beat my eye and transform into an ocean. Maybe it is better freed so it is known that I have not condemned one thing to bondage. I pray you too unshackle my head before I am initiated into the coven of ghosts. No. I hope the day comes when you can hear my whispers and retreat into the discolouration of twilight and when you crave my embrace or kiss. Maybe that day is tomorrow. Tell me and I will no longer wear a blindfold. Tell me and I will no longer wear an axe and as I enter the year, I will no longer enter with wildfire. I am not brave enough to coffin my star in the morning and live in the blackness of thin faith in a nebula’s birth as you tell me to. It takes more than a man donned in cassocks to deliver me, but if his whim is powerful and you approve, let him deliver me onto you. You are my sorrow’s epiphany and I am the infidel in the matrix until you bring salvation.

As I write this letter to you, I am swimming in a whirlpool and I beg the currents to remember to wash me ashore, naked and nameless so that when you come to greet the waves or bathe in the sand, you cloth me with your warmth and you sing your hymns like you always do in my dreams. My dear, your soft palms, your bright smiles, and pleasant laughter, are my elixir. The royalty of your gait bedazzles even the cherubs. When you are not here, my spirit is roost for a vast void that drowns the sun and its light. Come to me, my love.

As I write this letter to you, Amy Stroup’s ‘Look Out for You’ plays softly on my father’s old stereo and I hold the curtain’s ring, gazing lowly into the frail emotions of her lyrics . . .’High wind moves across our back/ Holding hands to make it last/ The afternoon is warm and well/ The path we take we′ll never tell/ Simple dreams that no one sees/ Softly made by you and me/ A deep and endless perfect day/ I’ll look out for you, always’. By the clutch of ancient desire, I rave and the dowager is forced to hear my psalms. I am your knight but you do not know. I am the message of the song. I promise it is beautiful to love, but it is said that the best part of love is in the beginning. Where does it then end? If you ask, there is an infinite aura in loving from a distance, but I lose my mind every day thinking about you only from afar when your smell is a panache for my lonesomeness. When I am alone, I inhale the balm that indents my clothes and I race my heart to capture your sweet smell afterward. When I think about you, there is no beginning, just a continuum that sprints into a fence created by your hesitation.

I see all the light that leaves me alone on acoustic tiles to mop my tears. You are a potter, and once, I caught your snare trespassing the bounds of courtesy as if I am an object. My dear, I hear of your craft and I am desperate for a polymer vase for my soul. It does not yet have a home. My dream only follows the domino with the wake of day and when night nears, it refuses to come home. I see the venom and I joy at what it brings me from whence it ferries. You must know I have everything to lose. I am a carrion in a blind spot, hated and intangible. Always have been. I am the poet’s muse, his words too. I have visited souls and I pray my errands end when I stray into yours. My love, you are my spark.

I remember how we used to share songs and dance into bare blankets. In those evenings, my eyes travel through your body and I fight the provocation of my skin, the temptation to hold you, the desire to mutter, ‘I am spellbound, my dear, please come to me, please my dear, touch me’. I miss the sight of your cornrows, my love. I miss stroking your hair while your head rests on my trembling chest. I miss the adrenaline rush and the moments I am consumed by your beauty that I forsake the sermonette of impermanence. And as my friend tells me, one cannot refuse a single moment of love just because it has an end. These memories refuse to disappear and I hate to be vulnerable. Maybe I love to be prone to damage. After all, what does it matter? My dear, do not go gentle on me. I am only a victim of fate and destined to be alone. Do not go gentle on me. I have loved you to death.

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