by Jamie Grefe
There is a hum welling up inside the helmet when I enter the corridor. The hum is different from how I remember you sound: a breathy moan, faintly, a hiss, or a sigh damaged by pages of letters in bits–the burned spines of books. And, the stains on the floor, the dangling limbs are not you, either: the nameless men left dead in the wake of a better lie to live. Why must you echo to me only when tatters are in front of me? Why aren’t we back on the porch to thread our way through the torrents, past the parlor to the store where I would buy you anything, anything at all, except that which would keep us going? Yet, they’ve given me a saw to dislodge bodies from the webs you’ve cloaked them in. How many torn bodies will it take before we meet again in a still room? I dream we meet in one of the many rooms off the corridor, but the doors in this place are all alike, coated in white rays, glowing in blue waves on the locks. I follow a wet smear to a soft bend, to another corridor where I hear you sigh louder, unless the slow breath is just an echo of your muted words, a copy of that distant voice, and how, no matter the time I spend panting, no matter the searching under this awful light, sawing down other men, you will always be far, farther away than any number of steps I might take to reach you.
Jamie Grefe currently lives in Beijing, China. His work appears in numerous literary magazines including Mud Luscious Online Quarterly, New Dead Families, Counterexample Poetics, Gone Lawn, Untoward Magazine and others. For more pieces, please visit: http://shreddedmaps.tumblr.com