On A Clear Day

You can see through sclera, past the color-wheel of iris, into the natural lens. If your'e quick enough, or good enough, you can watch bright fade to dull, see what was drift into what could have been. It's said that the last image percieved is reflected in the corneal eye; but that's bullshit. The only thing left is an eclipse too dim to cast back.

Like the shut of a door against a heated room, what remains is cold. I've watched more doors close than I care to count, seen so much of what could have I wear that cold, an unseen insulation keeping heat at mind's length. To remember warmth is to recall faces, names, the end of every story. Cold is better; numb and hard. I need the feel of the shell.

Then today, a kid grabbed my arm. A hopeless kid with a hopeless wound, face-up in the middle of State street, the familiar aftermath of a common war. No fix here, no TV save. His eyes were green and deep; bending close, I watched frost rise in them like water...and through the fingers that circled my skin, I felt the heat slide away, felt the slam of the door. Hours later, I heard the click of the latch.

Isn't it funny how we return to the places where things happened, old soldiers drawn to land consecrated by battle and cross...just as I sit here tonight, swallowing warmth shot after shot. I remember faces, write down names, turn the pages of an unfinished book and wonder if the story ever really ends. I feel the air thicken, I know that what I've come to find has not dimmed, or waned away.

And in the back of my mind, nightstorms gather dust.

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