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The Asheville Period (In Retrospect)

from Lit From Within by The Paperbacks

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The stink of incense fills my chilly attic perch, and I awake to the sound of clacking looms. So as cats bat at the tassels of my hooded shirt, I lay motionless 'til afternoon. And, as planned, you are both gone when I descend. I mark the chalkboard and drive away alone…to where thick, muddy water curls with menace, with regret, and slops its verdict on the sagging shore. I watched you thrive there. I nearly died there. I watched you thrive there. You settled to find peace. I settled in defeat. Back in town, I've found you both out for a drink. The streets have emptied, but flags sprouted up like trees. And the entire bar is reading captions on a screen while the same image constantly repeats. Chorus. Mists condensing on the mountains like a bruise, like structures falling; the dust encompassed me. Oh, I have seen the leaf, the blossom and the fruit; now I'll be witness to the withering. I watched you thrive there. I nearly died there. I watched you thrive there; you found everything you need. I never tried there. I couldn't survive there. I just watched you thrive there…it was so beautiful to see. But it's best, now, that I leave.


from Lit From Within, released January 12, 2010


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