Broken Table

Sunday, March 19th, 2017 – 4:10 am

“Broken Table”

Each night a vandal and captain of my destiny, I sneak into the hall of my fathers.

The dusty burlwood table stretches in perfect parallel, married to the end of this impossibly long chamber. In the loving cover of Luna’s light, I return here to run my fingers down the wood grain, messy in symmetry, each year of growth a loving fold and wrinkle in flesh.

Close to the beginning of the marbled surface, still flicker the fading letters painted in earnest and fear with the trembling hands of our first love:

If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.

I see where the decades old flake of gold peels and flees in pieces, but this long hand is the shortcut to our mother’s heart and will outlive the table itself.

At the head of the table, my chair lies overturned by the broken remains of my father’s throne. I follow the first line from my birth to death, second birth to second death. Will of the Phoenix. I drag my rusty bowie knife down the stage of the final supper to carve a new chapter, but my hand slips at the broken edge of history.

The rest of table is gone.
It was here just the night before and almost everything is lost.
All the papers with all the truth with all the meaning with all the hope and faith and love and God and they’ve fallen into the black hole beneath the remains of the table and beneath the floor.
I had a paper for each one of you.
I had so much room for your scrawls and scrolls, tombs and tomes.

The moon no longer sings to me. It turns each time. It hides its face in shame and the cool blue fingers are cut short and refuse to crawl into the hole under the shattered wood and bone.

I’m no longer looking to rescue the papers or the table to put them on. Each distressed page with your face and traits clearly listed. All gone, but the most precious few. So, I write them from memory anew, that I am best able.

I edge up to the abyss, hugging my hastily scribbled memories, cobbled close to my chest and I venture a guess of the miles of depth to this trench. I think back to the final urgent words of mother on the missing half of my battered desk:

Fold your arms
find the faith
close your eyes
and fall

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