Lizzie Parker – Narrow Lane
They came and knocked on our doors
this morning, each one asking,
“Will you rise and fall in with us?
Will you come up the downslide?”
It was early and still, the sky a pale envelope,
a shroud winding its way through
the emptied streets, like fingers
of some God, like in Egypt that one night.
There’d been rumors of avatars.
Others had evicted, convinced
the embodiments were mere
story-telling and lies to keep us
hopeful, pacified. Some crept elsewhere
to seek veils and vacancies. We stayed
and searched inside for mirrors, waited,
whispered into plates and blankets,
looking around each other’s dreams.
It was an abandoned stage set
when we hesitated outside, it seemed
for a period piece, the civilians of old
having gathered in the square, in the dark,
torches lit and blazing, shadows cast
of monsters and ministers all around
and the frenzy of collective fear creeping
up, crawling along the skin, their very
humanity buried deep below
in the dirty dank earth, their accounts
now long closed, their shout-outs
combusted in one last twittering gasp.
So, emptying, the cobbled-together movement
of a body politic, galvanized, discharged
into the street, our current running upstream
in counterrevolutions, evolution
successively generating and selecting for
this moment of transmutation. And we left
our echoes behind and climbed alongside
them, honeyed and reverent, over
embankments and into the cloud, dimly
recalling crisp curtains, the sweet smell
of gardens, and one red brick chimney.
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