The moon was the last thing waiting at the end of the line, the farewell lasso, empty. Sorrel Venus burning bright, alluding goodbye, a laser pointer for the ghost of Laika to chase instead of her tail. Only morning fog, mystery or misery grew from this fallow land. Farmers more often than not harvested the mystery too soon to be marketable, but always, certain as the void, a bumper crop of misery. In every storm cellar, in every hanging garden of attic nooses, from the empty pipe tucked into the inside pocket of a widower’s jacket, to the Old Country dreams sewn within the patchwork quilt chronicling The End of Days, there was never a shortage of misery to go around. Townsfolk used to sing: Bring your poor, bring your rootless, bring your quarantined, bring your crosseyed and faithless. Town’s caller’d call: Fill it in, stuff it down, stamp your feet, ‘cept ain’t no ground. Fall on through, dance the night, dance St. Vitus, dance a blight. Wear your crown, wear your thorns, say goodbye to the farewell lasso, say no more anymore. And one by one, townsfolk’d fall, as if cut down, overheated and weary, haycocks of misery steaming on the barn floor. The moon would hang bright in the doorway, a lanternman inspecting the rails to the end of the line. A farewell lasso, empty, waiting for the ruins of the town to rebuild. Waiting for the mystery to reach maturity in fallow fields. Waiting for the dancers to rise again.
Ron Gibson, Jr.’s work has previously appeared in (b)oink, Stockholm Review of Literature, CHEAP POP, New South Journal, Jellyfish Review, WhiskeyPaper, Unbroken Journal, Crack the Spine, Gone Lawn, etc… and is forthcoming at Easy Street Magazine, Mannequin Haus & Real Story. Follow him on Twitter @sirabsurd.
Image: Photograph by Bea Currie, a writer and photographer living in Kentucky.