The fall of the house of cards.

June 9, 2011
By ashleyannalee GOLD, San Bernardino, California, California
ashleyannalee GOLD, San Bernardino, California, California
14 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Our home is a house made of playing cards. Awes all passerby, induces envious sigh. Impresses the glance, the unknowing grope of the sightless. Behind its lacquered door preserves a hollow space, gives residence to a common void obscured by aversion of eye. Walls quivering, we struggle to steady the stagger of this structure we've constructed. Struggle to uphold the walls of our own prison. As long as strangers think it's pretty.

Thirty eight floors, a labyrinth of locked doors. Sixteen cellars, flooded submerged forsaken. One attic, we call the dead man's land. Deserted corridor leads to darkened staircase, shifts from beneath us. The ground beneath my feet restless as I. We dare not venture from our allotted cells. Remain estranged by the walls which amplify the scuttling of whispering tongues, the hiss of reckless accusations. Vulnerable minds stripped bare by the callous hands of hushed tone.

Careful now, careful not to disturb. The two legged spider thirsts insatiable from between layers of plaster. Eight eyes darting, never sleeping. Seven pairs of sealed lips sending caution through the mirrors. Quick, she's coming. Beneath the mattress, slip your ink. Shut those lids, ease that spine. Let her think you rest.

Forbidden breath, don't you breathe. Don’t you ever let a real breath out. Keep it all inside of you. Keep it here, in your chest, where it can push and shove and appear as dignified pride. Let no stirring thought break the surface of skin. Force the violence of an internal uprising to take the form of a false complacency.

Teeth flash, the flutter of lashed lid. The contortion of pursed lips permit an intentionally intimate glimpse of arcing dimple. Conceal the giving of pallor. Bite the sallow of those cheeks until they flush and lifeless warmth spread like web across the glass. Blink the eye, bend the knee, with motion premeditated. And nod. Nod that lowered head of yours. Take to the constant pivot of head. Make a habit of it, not to be broken. You did not once, you nod your head now.

The month of October summons omen of poor weather. A draft like a pressing hand distresses the cracking facade of stone. And as it turns to gale presses incessant. Wait, with anxious biting of the lip you wait. Don't sleep, don't eat, just wait. Listen for the howl of the angry Anna, the subtle giving away of rotted wooden rafter. And hear it, unsure you did, the first of the shattering shingles against the cement of the driveway three miles below. The fall of the house of cards at long last come.

One at a time it comes. One high glossed propriety at a time. Unravels, thread by binding thread. Ankles unwind, a languid motion of defiance overtakes the core, posture sags the slightest. A single breath is let. It comes now. With grabbing hands clutched about the neck. It comes the fall. There is a gentle grace tucked within the seared edges of a collapsing system. More beauty and grace than was ever present in its function.

A woman stands, has been standing, has stood and stood and stood at edge of eave. Stands with two arms spread and steps. Pirouettes on tip of toe, suspended for a prolonged moment by our glistening gaze. The movement of hasty hands slows, the passage of time stretches thin, comes apart, comes to an end. And by nature is obligated to converge and progress. Obligating the blurred image of a weightless woman to bare the consequence of our actions. To drift and flit and allow her body to slip seamlessly into the current of air passing from between your parted lips. Compressed dissatisfaction billows and swells, dispelling illusion where dissipation is endured.

Acta est fabula. Plaudite. The smolder of embers casts shadows, raises gaunt creatures from dust. With back bent, with lean limb lank, their silhouettes shift sporadic. Their movements mirrored by the uneasy shift of your weight from foot to bare foot. Seek cover from the heathen sway, caress the remains of a perished species with the nudging of toe, and lie down. Erect successive crypt. Raise from the rubble the walls around you. With more doors, more locks, more vaults to lure and trap. Lie there. Lie still. And keep lying. Let them think you rest.

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