Confessions of a Mirage in Slow Motion
In this blue-gray haze I have to assent to a scream. I can hardly breathe. The walls pulse their frantic beat around me, shutting me in and setting me free. Books are hurling inevitabilities at me everywhere I turn. Purgatory. Madness and Civilization. The Text and the Critic. I am the text; I am the critic. Each violent cycle brings me closer to the walls and further from the door. Lying on the floor like this, I could tell you almost anything.
In a time before this time the windows spoke to me of great glass igloos at the end of the world, filled with light and warmth to battle the creeping cold. And I felt safe, and I felt sorrow. Here on the floor next to me I feel your breath, a slow gentle heartbeat that eases my restless groans. We could share almost anything. There has never been a moment I couldn’t briefly hand over to you before quietly folding it away.
The light is just right, so I must confess: I imagined you had closed the gap with your hand to hold mine. I was mistaken. Pictures scream distorted invitations at me from all sides, warped portals to better or to worse. I couldn’t do it. Lying on this floor with you, I’m paralysed. Every moment in life can be shared if you listen hard enough. Do you hear my nerves breaking? I can feel it happening as my head starts to sink into the ground. This blue-gray haze, my constant companion, will be here still after dark. We could have gone almost anywhere, but gravity tells me it’s almost too late. And as I turn to face you with these two final words, I realise you’re no longer here.
Elle Warren is a failed intellectual with a penchant for pissing people off, but in an adorable way, like being stabbed with a Butterfinger. She’s doing the postdoc thing at Stellenbosch University while experimenting with all the forms of art her bipolar mood disorder happily inspires her to attempt. It’s not so bad when it’s good. Her work has been published in Itch and Poetry Potion and is forthcoming on Roekeloos and Litnet.