Powder and Masque

by Jeremy Brunger

Cheeks - little raised, thumbpinched bumps on his face, supporting his smile. Revealed the utter sadness underneath, the kind of linear mental diatribe put into emotive thought that wonders while you'd sleep, draining your energy and breath; the kind of worry that smiles G'Day to a clown on Terrace Street while, secretly, it thinks of ways to kill its host. Fifteen, fair, fruit - Danny'd many things, but longing, austere sickness channeled into basal urges or repeated thoughts, like madness - longing was the keenest of them, prolonged by the nature of his age and the deep void in his chest, behind the ribcage that held a channel in its own right, of marrow and myth, and death and sorrow. Lonely, he could pick at loners for indulging their whim; skates brashly, colored street grizzle - his feet rolling pounds of stone from under ankle, under sun and light, roaming as if homeless across the city in which he was born and lost. Searching as a twelve year old with the connection of hand to mothervise severed, as if his synapses were being frayed by a welding torch, and his wrists lopped off by refrain, the word No, and simple, common pain; he held his knees before the iron steed, long as train and bearing same name, crashed the air in front of his face, dimming the sonics of his words, "I can't stop now." He could faintly, as ghosts tend to linger, smell a slightly burnt lavender that had been spritzed onto Jay's hair; Danny smiled the hurting happy fade, and showered his sweat at home.


Jeremy Brunger, author of Apathy Prior, hopes this isn't worded too densely.