There is no fire in those lips,
No life where once my name was spoken.
Just the debris and ruins of yesterdays
And even now she slips away with the shades
To take her place in that winding retinue
Of damnation. And my house is empty,
And the wind blows through it cold,
And they come in the night to visit
For they have no intercourse with light –
Like Odysseus of old I know the workings
Of that old magic with which he summoned
Brave Achilles back from the depths of Hades;
I know it requires blood and so I feed
These memories of women with blood
From my own veins, else they would fade
And die with the sun. It is my Fate,
For I am given the task of walking the center
Path, one foot in shade, the other in day,
That I might be granted boons from Nyx
Herself and speak with the absent dead.
So my throne is always in shadow,
Permanently, my eyes are darkened
By what I’ve seen.
I know more of the dead than the living;
I speak more often with dust and corpses
Than a beating, yearning heart;
My hands know cold skeletal love by rote,
But little of heated curves in the flash
Of that sacred, lust-driven moment
Instituted by the Divine to make us One
With all worth knowing in this rotting world.
I open books sanctified by years and dust,
Call up sages, saints, fine sinners;
I call up a fine brother- and sisterhood
That whispers their secrets to me,
Brings me news from former days
In return for a taste of the leaking holes
In my arms; and their mouths are dusty,
Their breath thick with mold and rust,
Their stolen kisses are harsh and bitter,
Their hands rattle through clumsy
Molestations of my frame. We trade
Life for knowledge, warmth for truth;
And I am but a filthy prostitute
At the command and pleasure
Time would know nothing
Of what passed between us.
I’d work that other spell with you,
The one where moments embody Eternity
And shake off the inevitability
Of the damned.
So she fades, even now, into
That long and winding retinue
And leaves me with the chill of learning,
The cold remnants of experience.
The autumn winds blow through my house,
All the windows are open so the shadow
Women may come and go at wish and will
To feed and speak, each in turn,
And I bear away their pain and words
And hold those close within my heart.
I am a leaden vault constructed to contain
What would otherwise expire in the bright
Beauty of a fine and present day.
Yes, Saturn knows my name, I know
His and we are not friends, but I serve
Nonetheless; I know my dark and proper
Station near Avernus, where many pass
And fade, even as she does, even now,
With the dim memory of her once warm
Lips that itself goes the way of all flesh.
I would spend a day in light.
I would know a day where the sun burned
Hard through even night.
I would know an evening where my hands
Were filled with life and my mouth
Tasted Paradise in a woman’s form.
I would know an evening where
I sent even the dead back into their graves
And shared no blood save with you.
I would know a day where I spoke
My own words, and did not give voice
To eons past and gone. I would be here,
Now, for once, and speak with my mouth
Into my dearest’s ear (that thieving tomb).
I’d spend a day with you and know
Something of living.
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