• This town in muted pumpkin tones and crackle-dry from thick trees wide and sun

    St. Thomas' statue stretched to bells, stones low and flat and warm enough to lie and watch
    one-by-one, two-by-two

    coffee-quick steps and an autumn slow

    The farmer's market, secluded by a baked goods mecca and a shop of tiny fragile missing things

    You came to visit

    And we talked.

    We talked, and we walked on church and cobblestone and after the sun went down;

    Drizzled air gave names to the skin of our palms and the lids of our eyes.

    The hole in my right glove widening over my ring finger, the anticipation of hot soup chilling our bellies,

    We talked a story. Slow at first like forgotten arts,

    Then in and down as you were the devil then a genius then a killer from a galaxy long-time coming.

    I was an innocent,

    a guardian,

    a pretender to the throne,

    One by gorgeous one as we slid in and out of realities until our bones creaked under the weight of them

    Fault lines in the sidewalk along the places where our minds slammed together

    Grappled for creative dominance, exploding kaleidoscopic lenses bleeding vicious color into a singularity of fifty pressing worlds on our backs

    You found every fairy door in every kitschy bake shop,

    Pulled me down by the hair and screamed, See? This is what you've been missing with your empty equation notebooks and terror of the simple symbols that tell you what I am,
    And this is all you wanted from me, and I will give it to you like I have for so many rumbling false-drunk years, pushed back and back until we can't hear our own voices and no one knows who first slammed shut the desk and said I am a king's man, we are ambassadors to the people we will never become.

    I have only asked for the parts of you that you cannot see and were not using anyway.

    And in response I smiled wide enough to cut my head away for a moment or two, and said
    yes of course of course i love you, i will do this thing

    Now, a flame-dark princess lives among the empty columns of the farmer's market.

    Echoes of her live into the daytime, lurking behind tabletops in the noon-dimmed spaces.

    Now, the five o'clock bells resonate in jaw-shaking throbs with a wise man in potentia

    Sweet-sugar repercussions that swim out like waves of rupture sound.

    Now, my way is built of stronger stuff, and I skin my knees on cobblestones

    Cemented tight by brash daydreams rough against my bare feet

    We laid these whispering bricks as heat rose behind our ribs and escaped

    shining from our ragged laughing throats

    I've tried so hard to find your real handprint here, without the rainwater refraction you have given me so freely

    But this, of course, is your own fault.

    You know my affinity for maudlin breezes strong enough to stretch tears up my temples when I do not have the depth to cry

    You have done this thing to every place I've ever loved.

    We have walked at autumn-pace, and now this town is you.

    Nights I wonder, curled around a house that drags my lungs to the surface of me, if we are one-by-one or two-by-two.