2 November 2006
Deep night, deep enough to reach out and hold
the darkness, tangible darkness
that strokes the hairs rising on your skin.
Sweet night, moonless night, in the kitchen.
The Smell of garlic roasting in the oven,
and the low level hum of the computer
in it's own little corner of the room,
testament to the entrapment of time
and the shrinking of space in a world
where, over time, we've grown more distant
from those with whom we had been close.
These sounds, these thoughts, the smell of garlic
momentarily drowned out the memories
that, for whatever reason, had returned
with such a vengeance that everything else,
even darkness, had faded into the background.
You know how the story always begins:
When I was younger, ignorant, afraid
of nothing because of being ignorant,
I never cooked a damn thing, but I beat
the you know what out of every damn body
who had the nerve to get in my face
or just not get out of the way in time.
I was young, ignorant, afraid of nothing.
It was not that I did not anticipate
dying, but more that I didn't expect to live
long enough to find myself cooking with such joy,
celebrating the smell of roasting garlic.
The memories are tricky, a skinny kid
at night, walking the streets of Saint Louis,
cocksure, noonchuks stuffed into his belt,
walking across broken glass in a park
where most of the lamps had been broken
and it was a deep shit sort of darkness
where good sense would tell you to run away
but the me I remember was fifteen,
profoundly angry, unwilling to run,
even when barely seen shadows appeared
and even the night air fled in fear.
Images from a past more ethereal
than the images on the computer screen,
the perpetual itch at the back of my neck,
that keeps creeping back into my brain,
like some never ending, inescapable refrain,
only momentarily broken by the sizzle
of onions sauteeing on the stovetop.
I remove the garlic from the oven.
and find myself laughing at the thought
of garlic keeping away vampires.
© 2006, Satya J. Gabriel