PER ELISA Two
by Scott Utley
I am sitting on a filthy floor in an emptied room in front of a fireplace that has never seen a true fire. I survey the battlefield before me. I silently marvel at the accumulated detritus of three years worth of grief. But this is not the war I fought. The war here is so much bigger and far more brutal than the lonely war I fought. Moments pass backward until I remember this is the place. I am its lone survivor. Below me is the exalted grave of a spiritual warrior. I remember now. I wonder at the emotions and crack-hearted questions splattered all over these wounded walls. There is blood on the floor leading into a darkened hallway. I thought I knew where that hallway leads to but I don't remember. As hard as I try to recall, all I see is a blank screen. I am a television turned to mute with thunderous static. If I were not deaf I would go completely insane. The channel I am looking for has been moved to another world where I don't get the signals.
I vaguely recall a man's heart dripping a trail of tears; tears of blood from a shattered heart. That"s what these stains in my eyes are. I remember a man squatting in the corner of this room with eyes shut blind & ears with no sound to hear. He looks like me. I turn my head away as fast as I can. In that moment I am afraid. I am too frightened to breathe but not afraid enough not to cry. It passes. Moments pass into eternity. War is over. I'm alive. I have been crippled but I am not lame. I've had scars deeply etched into my soul's flesh; the ones which never heal.
I hear music. I hear a song. I remember this war is over. I hear music even when it isn't playing. I know I shall sing once again. This is a bittersweet farewell. I see snapshots of your mind. I wonder why I wondered how the debris on these walls and this floor ever came to be? Thank you for taking my mind to a different sort of landscape. The soul creatures you create are quite beautiful. The ones you sent to cover my heart in winter will always keep me warm. You are so much more than kind. You of the many muses remind me that all I have to do is turn the television off. It's as simple as that.
I hadn't noticed the songbirds outside my window before. They sing as if their lives depended on it. They are so happy to be alive. That must be why they sing as they do. I feel like humming a tune too. PER ELISA. You loved PER ELISA. You never told me that. I only know it because I saw you in a window early one morning dancing your heart out to PER ELISA. I had to smile. Alice came to us from the peerless library of our dear friend, Marty Lont-Lamar of Amsterdam. Remember? I know you do. Farewell my beloved. I will sing for the both of us until we meet again. Until then, may I have this dance?
Posted on 09/22/2019
Copyright © 2020 Scott Utley