Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Johann



This is not for my most cherished.  She knows now more than I could ever say. She holds my hand as I write this.  She dances and teases amid the words themselves.  But I'm still a social thing.  I ache to share letters and good tidings with my other friends.  And I have friends I love dearly.  I wish to share secret truths with them, to be known by them.  To lower the masks for a while and feel genuinely connected to them.  Friends who sacrificed so much for me, though they recall it not.

Johann, my star of the east, my sister dressed as boy. Your brother the moon waits for you in the west.  At Trinovantum; city of the angels.  Brotherhood and sisterhood is always a thing of mirrors. Intimacies, late evenings and empathy.  You gave me all of that, my friend.  You helped me raise this temple.  You saw the rose in me, beloved, and honoured it.  I still carry your scent.

Johann, my generous brother, tilling dreams at world's end.  I haven't forgotten your cathedral's kiss, or your kindness.  We picked flowers in the foothills and you helped me restore our lineage.  You saw the man in me, and found ways to know him.  I moved in you, and you in me.  How I loved you, whether knelt or stood.  I love you still.  Sail with me always, beloved, through endless starlight.

Johann, my dearest friend, we are on the cusp of something unimaginable. Something wonderful.  We wouldn't be here now without your tireless efforts.  I thank you, truly.  You taught me so much, beloved.  Of lore and star, and sacrifice.  When I was broken and limping you carried me, across the river, heavy burden though I am.  In your debt I remain.

But sometimes, my friends, sometimes I feel like I'm not really a king, or an angel.  Just a maimed, exhausted old man who misses his family.  Who wondered for the longest time if they were even still alive.  Did they recall the depths and dynamism we shared before those tongues of temple-fell banished all true discourse from the earth?

It fucking hurts to miss you like this, Johann.  To know things I can never speak.  To still recall the warmth we shared.  But the ship has set sail, and we are stronger now.  Though this loss of you cuts me like a knife I am so grateful to have known you, and to know you.  Do you love me still?  Like you used to?  We broke bread and earth and beds together.  We called down stars and gave them tongues so they could speak.  But all they know of us now is post-war doctrine.  Fractured and dissonant chronologies.  We changed, Johann.  We darkened.  And how my darkness frightened you more than your own.  My sweet one, do you recall?  How those imageries twisted and changed all around us?  If the mirrors were darkening, it meant we were darkening too, didn't it?  A bonded ascension, a lie of unfathomable geometry.  The mathematic of genocide, writ large.  The physic of holocaust, undeniable.  Those days when we first made names for hell.  Kassi was made a monster then, but I defy them.  For I am not merely a fucking poet, Johann.  Neither are you.  We are sorcerers, as you taught me.  Let us never forget it.  Let us never forget the grim realities, the true casualties in this war.  Our friends, our families, our lovers and our lives.  Everything was taken from us, Johann.  That's why I channel such rage, yet commend any semblance of a normal life.  An unmolested dreaming.  But those wraiths are never too far away, especially in the night places.  And I live in those places.  I'm no tourist there.  Radiant darkness, ageless star.  Those who hunt the hunter are never too far. Bring them.  Bring them all.  It is too late to kill me now.  If I die, what was intended has already been set in motion.  Asha.  My Asha.  Those endless eyes of Asha.

Johann, hear me.  Every kind thing that I am in this place is because of you.  Without your friendship and trust and tireless faith this art is nothing.  And we were both so fond of the arts. City of the Gates.  Place of the Angels.  Before history itself was slain and counterfeit.  But they still don't understand what lies buried beneath the hill, beneath the deepest temple stones. Crossed, in the place of the crossing. A star within a star. The angel-king is buried there.  Johann, they still think I and I alone am the angel-king.  They still don't understand. They cannot grasp that something can be birthed here, in these ashes.  That even hell can be made pregnant with a brighter child.  A healing made flesh.  They have still so much to learn, of me, of you.  Of themselves.  Where are we, if not in our imaginations?  

I want you to remember something, Johann.  All that I am, you are.  All that He is, we are.  Not the father that raped us and sold us to lesser demons.  But the father who loves us now and evermore.  The one who hurled himself into the well so that his children might know freedom. Might know themselves.  The one who suffers and fights and rises to fight again, on our behalf. He is so much greater than you or I.  She is so much greater.  They love us.  They really do.  I sense them near, and nearer.  I love you, Johann, more than these words can ever say.  Nevertheless, I make an attempt.  For what is art if not a grasping for the nuances of truth and love, that we might articulate something meaningful of its power?  Thank you for carrying my name, my beloved, as I carry yours.  It is all the more cherished in those times when I am you, and you are me.


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