The Waste Land Visited

O She holds me in the near-dark and shakes me. I see the coals reflected in her eyes, that glint; she’d like to slap me.

O I hear a song; the wind-borne whistling of a fisherman ambling the Lower Thames.

I haven’t spoken since I arrived. We are too tired on the bed and she’d like me to stay.

“My nerves are bad to-night. Yes, bad. Stay with me.”
“Speak to me. Why do you never speak? Speak.”
“What are you thinking of? What thinking? What?”
“I never know what you are thinking. Think.”

Her accent is in another room. There are four doors ajar. The fifth is closed, out of reach, only visible around corners.

O I fished with him, the river lapping our feet. The tongues of rats. I see him in the water once more, fishing for his pearls.

She tries to memorialize with me. “Do you know nothing? Do you see nothing? Do you remember nothing?”
The fire extinguishes, the pressure changes, the wind runs out through cracks in the room.
“What is that noise?”
She is too possessed to understand. I see the river-sand shifting.

O We sit in the dark and quiet on the bed and a third person sits just behind her. She wants to utter me from distraction.

“Are you alive or not? Is there nothing in your head?”

I hear chanting. A word or three. In the dark, the room shakes. A sphere, musical, open everywhere.

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