Saturday, April 02, 2011

NaPo 11: 2 April - Snowdrop 3.3: The Tall Gentleman

Snowdrop 3.3: The Tall Gentleman

"If I may say, you have the look of one
who's newly come to our accurséd realm.
Is this not what you prayed for? No, it seems
you've found confusions, madness - horrors spun
beyond uncharted hells: it will not stop!"

"I cannot breathe, and yet as seconds pass me by
my chest expands and air moves into me
- and out again - my lungs are devotees
of habit: in and out they go, but why?"
"What do you know of ghosts? Your disbelief
is noted, child, and yet that's what we are!
Some say that death is final, we collapse
oblivious at that last lunge for air,
and once we breathe no more there is no more:
a sleep so deep that none can wake again,
an oubliette of bones and rotting flesh
is all that marks our time upon this world -

"if only it were true: such happiness
is not for us unfortunates to know."

"I'm dead. I must be dead: my breath is ice;
I sit on muddied ice and ice encrusts
each stalk of grass ... are you dead too? I trust
nothing. Not ears or nose or fingers. Eyes?"
"How did I die? I choked upon a bean -
a stupid end for one as great as me!
And yes, I know we breathe: the mists exhaled
are part of where we are, and hunger too."

"They lie to me. They tell me I'm outside
barefoot and dressed for bed and yet I know
I'm dead - or knocked out cold by robbers, theives -"
"I've not yet told you where we are! Not Hell,
my child, for devils do not dance around
our roast pit fires with tridents in their hands.
And though I know some folk with tails, they are
not forked, and both their feet have heels and toes -"

"- perhaps I'm mad, not dead. I'm still inside
the house, hallucinating nightmares. So ...
what must I do to break apart these reves?"

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