City of Immortals
The couch holds my weight,
but poorly, sinking under the
excess drink between my bones.
My leg droops. Foot tapping
at the floor and the pinch of couch cushions
doesn't hold me up, anymore.
The cold bottle has grown warm in my fingers
but the ceiling doesn't change as long as I stare at it
and the crack stares back.
A rivulet of escaping water
hurries across my basement apartment floor.
Everything's escaping from me
these days. The case doesn't help.
The impossible case.
Not a single trace in a city where
everything is pencil, drawing lines.
I've gone back and back and back to the database
(more than I needed to, getting lost in people's stolen stories)
(but I never look at my own file anymore)
and there's nothing.
Not a crumb of DNA or a single lingering
who they might have been;
they've erased themself.
I chase a ghost and find myself
pretending I don't envy them.
Oh, to disappear.
To dust, to dust, we all die in the end
but I can never die when my
entire existence has been catalogued and chronicled.
They've created, with their surveillance,
a city of immortals.
I know I'm listed as depressed
and maybe that's why I've wrapped myself
in this impossible job, a last ditch
to fall into so I can pretend to die;
a shroud of empty searching,
Something tickles at my mind
and I almost wonder if I'll run away.
The light flickers like a firefly, on and off,
and threatens an ending, but
I don't know if I can survive another
in the end,
I'd rather be a moth in the darkness
than chase the moon and find an artificial light.
But the blinding bulb calls and
drink in hand
I keep fluttering flickering towards it.
But I'm good at my job.
Sometimes I pretend I didn't
wish I was a failure so I could
wallow in peace. But
I know I'm good at this.
Even in the impossible cases,
I smell something.
An elegant killer that leaves
a trace of perfume,
a footstep that never touches the ground and yet,
I can almost make out footprints in the air.
What's the easiest way to be invisible? I mutter
into my glass and the liquid answers,
don't exist at all.
They asked me to find the murderer.
An invisible, untouchable force that kills and leaves
nothing behind; a wound with no knife;
a scream cut off as body hits floor
with such impossible weight, because death
is heavier than a body.
And a mind, alive, is lightest of all;
so light it floats and drips away like rain
leaking across a basement floor.
To be seen keeps us sane but
to be watched
might kill us.
My body already so heavy on the couch.
When I close my eyes, that's all that changes.
I was dead already.