The Music Of Broken Wings

     It is the next road on the right. This you remember. How it is not so much a road as a stretch of white, broken shells, leading to something. Someone. Though there have certainly been other, real in fact, roads since.

     All that is swept away now, into the land of old songs. You concentrate, watch the trees to either side, looking for a break in them. Memory, on its own agenda, is beside you. Inside you. Memory scurries along, looks for the turn. And it appears. Suddenly the trees part. It becomes visible, the small fractured shell passage that emerges from the foliage. The car turns, but in a way you are already ahead of it. Up the road, on the heels of memory. Memory leaps and zigzags, a wild rabbit.

     The house appears. It even surprises you, how much it resembles the house that looms in your dream, far away in another state, a safe distance away. In the dream that persists it proceeds like this. You nearly glide the final yards, stop just short of the door. You step out of the car. Good to stand again after so many miles. Already the churning has begun in your stomach. In the dream it is the same. You stand on a step. You ring the bell.
     You wait. Muffled noises from inside. Glass panes in the door shimmer as footsteps approach. Ready now, your smile comes without thinking. The door opens. The smile is returned. Time, all the time since the last, vanishes. Go inside. To the kitchen. Make small talk. Sip scotch. Prelude.

     Sooner or later, always sooner, it's time. Down the hall. You follow. You also follow your memory, already there, inside the bedroom. It comes to you that this could all be accomplished by memory alone.

     The door closes behind you. Darkness flutters in the room like blind doves. Barefoot, you cross the room to the bed. Suddenly, you stop. Something is wrong with your foot. You bend over, look at it. Blood trickles. It is a bit of white shell, embedded in your heel. Blood flows from your foot into the darkness of the doves.

     You are losing time, you know. You look to see how far your memory has gone, how much space there is between you and it. But all you can see is the darkness. All you can hear is the soft flutter of broken wings falling.
Christopher Woods
Jeff Crouch
click on the picture for full size.