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If he had wings he could fly into the sun.
But he didn’t have wings, and God gave him dense bones, denser than those of a sun-bound bird. Would his bones crumble, folding into its dust and marrow, at the bottom of 100 feet?
He wanted to, but not to satisfy a curiosity. Not for the discovery of crumbled bones. There were no discoveries to be made in a world without questions, stripped of its mystery and naked. He wouldn’t jump for answers. Instead, he’d jump for sound. He’d spent a decade begging, a decade and a few days more that he’d forgotten behind the roar of silence. Deafness was empty.
Those days are gone.
Those days were nothing. Sharp like glass, and void without…
The music. The music of blood and roots and fingers. The music that once sucked his ear drums and wet his tongue with the orgasmic taste of song. What was 100 feet of falling without the infectious strain of a howling wind, whose refrain would shake the opera halls? It was nothing. The music was gone. And with it, everything.
The world is here.
It was never here.
The eyes can see it.
Eyes delivered illusion and nothing more. He looked out from the black bridge, and saw the delirium his eyes gave him: the western and eastern horizons were scrawled flat like a child’s drawing. The sky was water and water was sky. But he knew the truth – it was not real. The sky was untouchable, and the earth as round as death.
Illusion remained the same consistency; his eyes – the liars! – added haze. But he knew of the Savior, the Bringer of Lucidity and Light: listen! It pulsated in the city and its waters, filling the spongy lungs of every wretched, beautiful life-breather. It was sound, music, the rhythmic convulsions that were once his and no one else’s. He remembered the wailing woodwinds, rising, rising like fire above the shivering bridges of the gathered strings. It fed him – God! It fed him – but now, he was starving.
He could do one or the other, and the deaf could not stop in a world of going. He would eat.
100 feet, and then he’d be full.
100 feet, and the sound would return to him.
75 feet. His shoes in the air below! Loud, as though clattering in the pit behind the percussion. Louder as the basses moaned, and the wind howled its applause.
50 feet, and God’s eyes were closed. The flutes whistled and screamed. The haunt rose -- he listened! Beyond the airborne fabric to where the ghosts drifted bows across their strings.
What eyes could see this --- what eyes could understand! He, the dénouement of ghosts and ancient wisdoms, listening and trembling with the heartbeats of the immortal! A melody of firebirds born again in ashes, rising, rising, rising, and then ---
The bridges were still.