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Waking with Sundown
Photographer/Writer: Christine Stoddard
Model: Shawn Everett Jones
I sought your ghost, but then I saw you in the flesh--
ravenous, delighted, and enraged in the sun's rays.
Your tomb could not trap you à cause de mal du pays.
So you chipped away at the rocks and roots,
one grasp and one gasp at a time, an eternity of clawing,
until you escaped the company of beetles and the air smelled fresh.
Now, as you tread the soil once more, free from the worms, you spot
your mother's face peering at you from the clouds and trees.
She warns you of evil, forgetting she speaks of you.
The God of Nostalgia handpicked you for mayhem.
Attack the town that birthed you, raised you.
All your friends and lovers are dead,
but buried far from where you once restlessly slept.
Your old haunts only haunt you with their cobwebs.
They are caves and your heart is cavernous.
Go on your one-man rampage without me.
I came not to greet you, but to destroy you.
Break down fences. Tear through wire and mesh.
Throw stones at windows. Scream. Weep.
Your memories are more fragile
than the stained glass in the parish
where you were baptized as a child
and sealed up in a coffin years later.
There is but one road to Bethlehem.
Ride the mule until you are sore
or walk and stumble by yourself.
Either way, the road is long.
And no one living knows your name
better than they do the
name of a particle of dust.