Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rising Demons

The demons are playing in the pools again, the abandoned waters where many children have drowned. They are long neglected waters, growing algae and fungus, a heavenly breeding ground for tadpoles and mosquitoes that feast on dead skin and coagulated blood. And, unlike swimming pools that have boundaries defined by concrete and steps and diving boards, these waters are uncontained. They are endless, stretching north and south, starting at my feet and plunging beyond my imagination. Beyond the voyages of Jacques Cousteau, higher than the furthest solar system. They are depths beyond measurement. They are heights beyond calculation. The pools are all I see, and even more clear than the black waters are the open mouths that just barely peak over the water line. The waters they lurk in are as thick as molasses, made even thicker by the ink of my fear. Purple flowers dot the murk, their presence in the blackness is a lifeline between despair and the memories of work, a glimmer of the beauty that can emerge from death. But most of the time, I cannot see the blooms, they are hidden by other life forms that are not so forgiving. They are the demons who feed on my sweat. Their long, nimble tongues miss my clit and instead, gather the salty drops of my fear. Their feeding does not release me from the trembling or worry, they allow me to reel, allow me to cry; they play with my pain like maniacal children in a park of carcasses and chewed bones. They like the taste of my tears, like cheap wine mixed paranoia and salted with tears. These are winos of the highest order. Boozers and drunks. Pure addicts. They cannot live without my doubts. Without my anxiety, they shrivel like vampires in the sun, only unlike the undead, their death is not eternal. Their ashes may drift in the wind, sometimes for days, other times for a few fleeting seconds, but no matter where the current has taken them, they can smell me in the air. In Paris, blowing across the steps of the Louvre or perhaps in the middle of the sea, cavorting with whales and mermaids; no matter how far away, they are triggered by my stumble. They smell my salt and the sudden rush of darkness that wrestles anything else to the ground. My altered mind, my anxious heart…they come running. Within the time it takes to blink, their forms coalesce once again. Quick and hard, their dark mouths take shape. Like a flash of brilliant lighting, something moves within them, giving life to their ghastly forms. They wait silently at my heels for a time, within the first moments of my fall, they wait patiently like a puppy learning to beg, waiting for the scraps of its master. But then, as the seconds pass and I begin to fall further into the pit, they start to nibble at my heels. They lick my toes in small circular patterns. Sometimes there are just a few, other times, dozens, each vying for a feast of my despair. And as the first tear falls, they are climbing up my calves like skilled mountaineers, scratching the smooth skin of my toes with sharpened nails and small metal tools. There is plenty for all. Each angry beat of my heart moves into an open mouth, each salty drop slides across their tongues like delicious nectar from a flowing well. They are ravenous, but always patient. My blood is never enough, but when the waters within are still, they don’t cry out. They wait, silently, always alert, always ready to come to my heels, to come to my cries, and delight in the earthly splendor of my recurrent pain.

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