Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Battle Royale

“Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.” - Romans 12:21

There is a country Troll at the end of my parent’s drive. He shoulders a club, ransacks outskirting farms, and gobbles chickens and small cows. Years ago the neighboring villagers chased him off with torches and pitchforks, but he has returned, demanding secret passwords as we cross Milk Creek by bridge, coming in the middle of the night to carry our children away. Now the villagers are old and have no more fight left, so they have struck a deal. He will leave if I promise him my soul. It just reminds me there is no one above betrayal, and you can never go home again.
My city of Portland is full of ghosts. They dangle from the sky tram. They base jump from the U.S. Bank Tower. They lurk in the bricks of Pioneer Square and rise out the cracks in the sidewalk along Burnside to Northwest. I feel them creeping out the spines of books in the aisles of Powell’s and tickling my whiskers as I cross the Hawthorne Bridge up to Mt. Tabor. Portland is a city full of ghosts. Everywhere I look reminds me of someone or something I have loved or lost.
There are hob goblins around my former home in Beaverton. They snarl and curse in Tanasbourne. They grunt and snort at Cedar Hill’s Crossing. They lie and wait for me at Mill Pond and Common Wealth. They scream murder most foul from old haunts. They dance round a cauldron in the front room of my old house. I have enemies, always have. People I see and no questions asked, I will fight. I will swing and kick and bite until I am restrained and carried away. I will fight them to the death. But I wish it were different. I wish I could just wrap my arms around them and say sorry instead.
There are devils in my dreams. They seep out from the floor like beetles. They fill the sky like locusts. They come riding beasts in the dead of night, nostrils blaring, eyes aflame, screeching over the landscape. I feel there is a battle raging at times for my soul. I carry my house like a man on the road beneath a cardboard box. I open my mouth, but it is full of webs. I should be pricked until I bleed then dropped in water and boiled like a surgeon’s tools. Then I would sleep, when I am clean.

No comments:

Post a Comment