Another bitter gust across the plains. Another waft of luscious lavender scent hovers briefly under my nostrils. My mother said to me once that she hates the smell of lavender because it reminds her of death. Since that day, I can't help the intrusive images of mortality that plume from the purple vapour. But still, I love it. To help me sleep. To remedy a punctured heart, self inflicted beside her glassy eyes. No whites, all murky like the wetlands. And all the same teeming with life.

As jovial with the leaping frogs, death lives in the swamp. So too does death live with her. For the thought that life would come to an end one day brings me closer to the truth. The truth of what a life might bring to a young man without a home. It's the desire to dig a past out of the fertile soil. It's the compulsion to mark my way back East toward a human history, to bring it back to those plains I know so well. And the wish to spend all those days thinking of her. Living with her. Fighting, hurting, building, dancing, loving. Death is her because in her there is an end.

Tangled in fabrics around my body, stiff as a board, a single match could light it all ablaze. The wools and leathers that scratch my tender skin. I always walked upright and adjusted my spine often, but not so much these days. Though it's hard not to notice two shoulders rolled forward when a body is your unholy temple. Pray and pray each afternoon, couldn't be me. A man of action. But what's left when action is impossible, when all one is capable of rests on the bamboo mats on the second bedroom floor? Madness. Like a portrait who won't sit still.

Deafening light paints the white walls through a wood patterned shade, so all I see are diamonds. I saw them once before, in the eyes of the girl who shares my soul. But here they are only a shadow. Mute, I comfort. A shrivelled half falling off the bone into the cast iron pot of leftover oil which scalds and scalds until the scab peels off to bright orange. Underneath, I see moisture. That purely pink flesh, tender to a prodding nail, and ready to scab over again. Forgive me if I itch before it fully heals.

Water flows through both taps a clear leaden stream. I'll drink and drink until you drive me home. Many hours abound and kilometres of industrial behemoths that will stand longer than our bodies. When the forest parts to concrete and crack, I'm there. Once step closer to warmth. To friends and midnight shenanigans. And afternoons with Mother. And eggs with Father. They stayed the same, but times have changed. Brother can't hold a lungfull of air no more, but he hasn't changed either. Breath fresh air into my lungs Domenic, I'll get you back next week.

Ah, to see the currents of calamity wreak its wreckage below what seems an eternal cumulonimbus. Its rains burn those without an umbrella, and those in possession may choose to ignore it or offer a place underneath. So why, why do I choose to avert my eyes with Fordist aspirations? Hiding underneath until the clouds part and the blinding sun returns me into hiding? Sometimes its foolishness. Other times, could it be inspiration? It's hard to say. It all sounds foolish to me, but its easy to forget. Especially as that tapeworm does half the digesting for me.

I don't know. But a moment is long. And if a moment is a brief portion of time, and a life consists of many such things, I guess life is quite long! This one is coming to a close. A cough echoes through each of them all, but it lightens throughout the song. Enter: wind, strings, brass, percussion, then... the acoustics are all wrong. Pack up people, we're moving venues again. Gosh. Lets hope the next one can house this masterpiece!

I, a virtuoso! A magician! It will conjure only under the right conditions. With the right ingredients of course, and the right selection of forbidden languages. Raise your bows men, lower your lips ladies, and behold the mammoth in front of you. Unthawed, finally. Left out for days on end in the damning sunlight. Took a few hundred moments before that permafrost freed her chestnut mane, her eggshell tusks. Not Her, but her. Her beauty could never be contained: her light curls and slender wrists. Interior: a flame erupts through the dewey film at each joint. She moves like a swan, or the wings of fae. I do not want to push my brand upon that buttock, but still, why do I whip i out?

Crescendo, it's over. Goodbye and goodnight fair audience of none. Your applause rings sweetly in silence. Thank the talented musicians who sweat and sobbed and bled all onto their instruments. My hands are clean, theirs are not. They'll take a bow on broken bones, and I'll stand perfectly straight. Staring. I'm too afraid to avert my eyes from the corner of the mirror above its reflection.