“Where Time Dies” from Erased to be Remembered, by Brandon Arthur

Mountains fall into a valley; a bridge collapses into a river. A crooked worm noses into the split core of an apple and into the darkness of flesh …

The world and his mind are blotted and muffled but for the cries of a child and a mother’s voice. Like a cabin window approached at night a scene begins to grow in his vision and the shadowed interior of a one-room sod house rushes up and surrounds him, with the cackle of a fire the only light. The shape of a woman is seated before the flames on a low wooden stool, but all he can see is the black silhouette of her back. Softly she sings.

“There’s a river

That stops your heart

It’s death’s shiver

Of being apart


Only the sun

Will thaw your blood

Let life run

In eternal flood


For where time dies

The soul is born

And the only lie

Is you won’t return


There’s a river

That breaks apart

As ice splinters

And thaws your heart


Time’s born

When it dies…”

A crack of branch outside and then the heavy thud of the meat of a hand pounding the door stop her. As though the sound of the world is being sucked through the knot-holed construction as it opens, he can suddenly hear nothing. A short stout man enters with a bowed head. His face a black streak, he blinks rapidly and moves his lips in speech, quickly backing out the room and closing out the night. The woman slumps and begins to moan. Slowly he can hear again and it’s a man’s name she’s calling, a name he has forgotten.

*****

Raised in the flatlands of central Illinois, Brandon Arthur currently resides in Denver, Colorado. His first book of poetry, expired Rx, was released by Monkey Puzzle Press in 2010.

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