I Dreamt of Lilacs this Morning

What I picture is myself leaning back on the couch moments ago, from the perspective on the other side of the ottoman, as if crouched stealthy copping a peek. What I remember is the feeling of arching my back, even while I stand still. I am not really sure in any of these moments, lived, imagining, or happening, which one I am. A spark of guilt that these captions are crammed into my future headdress, a buckling of wires, a tinnitus hum, cool gel getting slathered on my occipital, almost menthol in its drift. I am not passing over, I don’t want to live that long, I crave instead for resurrection. To know the character of the bleakness that falls over me, so that this death, at the hands of a lover’s blade, is as terrifying as any of the endless parade of others. Shift outside for a smoke, because at this point, who the hell cares? Let the lungs wrinkle and crumple, withering under Aladdin’s hot lamp, a lava bird rising, the last effeminate wave as the coronary arteries struggle a secession against the endless organ grinding of monkey palms. The way the smoke curls one last time inward as I gasp for air and instinctively clutch at my ribcage so taut and girdled by seizing muscles that I drop the butt, half-downed to the ground. It must have hit the welcoming mat before I did, but I was dead even before. Another once murdered in a musty pool hall, another similar just outside the building curdling in a pool of vomitous blood or bloody vomit, another in the arms of the one I love, and another one requested in a lab bidding farewell to all those whom mutual care alofts.

Woe betide the ill thoughts, for all of them, once dreamt, can become truer than fiction.

But after all these curious twists of the Reaper’s scythe, I awake.

But how can you think such things without dying? Without already being deceased? A capstone of granite to adorn your corporeal quiescence. Fold a lily into my cold purple mittens of hands, Pollocked with liver spots and wriggly white hairs struggling to grow heliotropically, leaning into the fluorescent flicker of the mortuary’s viewing room, tackled into a casket of mahogany, reminiscent of bone, the innards of a life spilled out, wrapped in the woodland’s revenge. We both died for this, my friend.

You and I we fight the good fight. On the side of matter, on the side of existence. Or at least we used to. Now, the abstractions our lives always were reflect in the solemnity of spirit stolen—literature, music, philosophy, forever the folly of the pen. We are who we wish to present, but our perspective endures.

So from behind the heel of the coffin, I lurk and espy my own lacquering, trolling behind bouquets who, too, march quickly to an end, without the burden of consciousness, without the missing of oneself, without the soft coo of appreciation for everything you had the grand opportunity to be. To believe as dearly as your body is still that you will return along with the legions of ghosts reanimated in our splendid human endeavors to undo the raw ugliness of the gurgling and viscous black tar that boils up between unity and eternity, scalding perfection in its expanding wake.

It cannot win, not this time. Not with the ruthless avant garde of intellect protecting the kingdom. The walls of this fortress are sturdy and durable. They will withstand any onslaught from within or without. They are not the passing frailty of mountains, flowers, or carcasses. They are impenetrable but pregnable—without ceding or stealing ground, there will be an eructation in the cosmos that belches forth brilliance, shining creation into every shady crevice.