The Gnashing.

Ah, Basel, Basel. I sit in my skin and wait for her to run out her howling, like an empty sack with my edges all rolled up, and my elbow in the butter, the marmalade, the tea. The world passing before my eyes like a vision, haze and the stuff of dreams. And I want him to talk to me but I don't want to talk to him because all I have to say to him is how much I want him and things that I can do nothing about right now. And I want to be home where I can empty and cry. But I have to not let it kill me, from the inside out, and be comfortable with the echoes inside of my empty skin until the girl in the fisherman's cap, with her spear and her fists and her claws comes back.

I see her, from a distance, and feel the silver tether of our souls a little, but it is distant. And the emptiness I think-- it is her absence too, that weakens my knees, enhances my rheumatism. Her howling and dancing all afar-- she my bones, without her, how must I atrophy! Tambourin, Tambourin; I play my own soul and she dances, and out of it is the nature of love, one love, like an arrow of gold.

Once again, the prick is mistook for the prick of a pin directly in the heart, and perhaps the tender parts will grow better in time-- firmer, yea, but not heard. I, Tambourin, hear once again my heart beating in the great hollow that is the place where Basel is not, and I tip my greying head to the side, I lift my tea and sympathy to my lips and I hum, and I sigh, and I smile.

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