By Jenna-Nichole Conrad
Dawn breaks with a soft fierceness. No pastel inks seeping shapely as a primer into canvas for bottleglass blue of morning, no gradation spreading seamless in the manner of warm buttercream; it breaks, a sudden shattering rift; night-shards propelled by the impact tear into the pomegranate flesh backlighting and the gashes bleed torturous magentas and yellows the shade of screams and twistingwrithingclawing pus pale foams frothing out from between jaws gnashing misaligned teeth stained too deeply with tobacco-coffee-semen.
It is a vicious, visceral spectacle–it is lamb-like demure, a disquieting comfort: mother fishercat purrs to its whelps.
There is no thought, merely the afterbirth of a thought unborn. Or stillborn.
Blink. Blink again. Blink harder. Brownian motion was taught in twelfth grade, and that is a thought, almost. Blink. Blink again. Watery, unstaring eyes glaze fishlike in opening and shutting; dirt crusted beneath fingernails abandon their station and half-moon forms, rubbed into creases in the eyelids–swallowed up until sleep or the more general malady of unconsciousness comes around; they always do, even after the deafening silence that follows a regularity of domestic disputes between them and their symbiotic host that even more regularly remain unable to be reported. From their corners crumble Sandman Dust(mites) accumulated over hours welded together and congealed into one another like heated wax bodies of a host of broken crayons healing in a storebought mold, an envy-green crust that clogs sign-on-the-dotted-line between inhabitance and inhibitance of the porous tear ducts.
The light sifting clumsy-graceful through slat blinds which dangle crooked in an elegant sort of way cups the dust particles afloat in its hands, blithe fingers of radiance the spotlight to their stretching tendrils as they yawn and begin to move effortlessly through an illusionary Luminiferous Ether morning permits, however shortly.
Really, it has the same deep-seeded implications as Lovecraftian Horror, some connotation of Mythos ungraspable far more elaborate than anything–anything–alluded to in only the most subtle, supple ways.
An explosion of birdsong roars into sentience: chariot steeds tethered to Apollo by chains of radioactive gold flare their nostrils belching out steam and snot, chomp their bits and froth fire; all this, the shrapnel bombs fired from the east mere moments before.
It all happens so fast. Everything happens so fast.
Somewhere beneath the Blackbirds’ shouts something mechanical thrums deeply; engines and tires-to-undercarriage clunk-scraping over manhole covers sitting skewed angles atop their rims so that Sunlight eats down to the sewers and shimmers over the sludge slick pelts of rats, the ripples their newborn-pink tails thrash through the liquid innards of pipes rusted and plastered and damp with gangrene cutting a waist-deep path through the labyrinthine undercity. They shine, then scatter, those ripples, the gurgles of shit and corpses of freshly dead goldfish that echo through the almost-hollow.
But they shine nonetheless, refract–and, unnoticed, absorb–dawn in a wonder that whispers warm and possibility of sight; the puddles have been preordained to remain an immortal state, ever converging, fracturing, and again, again, like kaleidoscope visions, like a channel caught between stations hissing varied shades of static back and fore indefinitely–the shiver-damp is too pervasive, the contents to stubborn and quick to yield to powers greater than itself, too malleable, the dark too busy digesting. But they drink the Lamp Star’s selfless purgings with as much vigor as the sleepless discontent soul chases well liquor with three dollar draft beers each evening, a new coat of bile hugging the face(lessness)like grotesque lipstick.
As lustily. As needy.
Both drink and allow for revel; shortly joyful with an ephemeral easy hope, longly and laterally dying to escape caste and crazy, vacant but for this class of fleeting, filling moment: one lightphobic swelling a fearfulness of waking hours ‘til bones barely support the weight, the second steeped in thought though thick with the sewers leprosy stagnation dying for the surface gilded but such sharp sunlight–but content in the surety that it is there at all.
Jenna-Nichole is a autodidact, freelance writer, intersectional feminist, poet, activist, and bibliophile experiencing life in and around Massachusetts. They may or may not bleed Ink. You can contact them at SharpSoulPoetics@gmail.com