Psychopomp Magazine Fall 2014 - Page 42

42 | Psychopomp Magazine

the exchange.

It became one of our games. I would peer, not just back at them, but right into their own stare and Mason would begin to giggle and we would break from the game. It is something that makes me smile still and I can hear some crooning noise of Mason's sounding from somewhere in my interior.

We shrugged off the difference they tried to mark between us. Our parents made no mention of this changed treatment toward their sons, or their own small changes. And with the two of us alway always close and talking low to one another, the effect was our further withdrawal into our private company. Eventually, we came to spend most of every day in or around that clearing, cloistered by the pines. In the uncanopied center, we drove that sharpened stick through the grass and into the dirt. I almost feel again the act of holding the wood tight, pressing my weight down, the earth giving way to the sharp point.

never remember that that was just before and in this dream I am always just in that dodging of the knife swinging down slowly.

Each time I am here again the strangled moment stretches out. My hand begins loosening. I begin in the memory of having just registered a loss of control, not sure if it is mine or his or what. Clay reels back, still holding the wood tight with one hand. He doesn't make any sound in particular and just goes and bends down into the ground. He's gone limp and I have to pull him over my back. Passing through and into the trees, I hear a cough from behind me.

I can only just watch my foot twist under an outgrowing root and feel Clay's weight on my back succeed over my efforts, and we are both sprawled there and he is asking where we are and I am fixed in my position under him. There is no pain in the twisting of ligaments as I fall down, the act is too redundant. The clearing still feels close behind me and I have the sense, every time, of having left someone behind—unsure of whether we are being pursued or are in the act of abandoning, and my shoulder is wet with something I can't ever distinguish between blood and tears. In another dream someone has whispered their name into my ear and into Clay's ear, and we have always forgotten.