Look at the bright side:
There is no body to burn this time.
I’m sitting in the morning,
At the diner, on the corner –
And that’s how the song goes.
Of course I’m going to kill you.
Or maybe I have. I am waiting at the counter,
For the man to pour the coffee.
At some point, anyway.
Linear memory is a fickle romantic.
Perhaps it was in the dark morning
of the universe,
where we both broke the dawn
and I bore the brunt of the blame.
Before time was coursing her merry way
over the gravel bed of good intentions.
It is always nice to see you,
says the man behind the counter.
And so you wander once more
into these halls I’ve built for you.
So poised to commit regicide,
but woe. The emperor is out hunting,
and you’ll have to wait.
But you know it’s always been that sort of song.
Moral high ground. Detonators.
The Pharos Project. Chronovores.
Where we go, the battle goes.
And wherever we go,
the abyss is not far behind.
You never stopped trying to work it out,
all those computations of probable realities
where you said, come and see.
And I said, I do.
Nice block transfer there, dickhead,
but math was never your strong suit.
Yet, this is still the bright side:
There is still no body to burn,
but the wonderful crematorium of Earth
and all of its creatures, great and small.
This is the story only you were meant to hear.
It’s about hunger, war,
disease and time. I’ll do the voices.
It begins where we went wading
through the filth of history
and it was an exercise in how
it might be kinder to die.
And what did it bring us both?
The blackness of possibility but you won’t partake of it.
Some good that’ll do.
It brought us those dry, dread oceans
on Hyades Neti that made you cry
(but were otherwise unremarkable).
Brought us the reminder
that wherever we go,
the abyss will forever ruminate
under where we make a stand.
Brought you the conviction
I thrive amongst corpses.
Brought you the delusion you don’t.
It’s in the grand disorder of all things.
Look at you now. Hot mess wetware.
All impulse. I love impulse.
Look at us both.
Dredged up and dressed up.
Encased in youth. Pretty.
Can’t wait for time to wreck us both again and harder.
Snuff us out with a billion suns
and a trillion dead worlds revolving.
They wouldn’t know they’re dead,
obviously. Not that it would stop them.
What’s an orbit if not a prison?
What’s gravity if not chains?
(I’ve met the ouroboros too, you know.
Extremely sanctimonious bitch.)
Give me your dormant little fairytales.
where you want me to fill your vacancy.
I’ll give you this, where I want to show you
what the dead are good for.
Wherever we go –
Well, I am the abyss.
It could be something simple,
like your vastness resists mine.
But it cannot be so soft or sad or sensible.
It’s about the fallout.
It’s about the setup.
I am thinking of your voice –
and of the midnight picnic
once upon a time before the rain began.
It’s about hopes and dreams. Not yours,
certainly. Could be mine, but unlikely.
Maybe the dream in which we found
the grave of our last universal ancestor
and he was buried on some ruined planet
in some ruined sector,
in some ruined and ravaged galaxy
far out of the reach of lucid thought.
His epitaph spoke in dream-speech:
No mercy for the dead.
Or maybe it said:
Dead man’s mercy.
Translations are always a little tricky.
And still you said, come and see.
(The ouroborus told me this:
I keep swallowing myself
but I am never done.)
And I said, no, come with me,
and I’ll show you how everything burns
screaming for mercy from the eternal light.
Look at the bright side: