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Second of what will be the Consanguinity Arch.
(Next piece, more cheerful, and without this particular form of rhythm, I promise)
Melancholia is the second of three, the first and third stories being Humour and Consanguinity


Melancholia
Jay Tryfanstone
2005

"From Howth to Brandon in Kerry there was not a threshing-floor without a Danish slave threshing thereon,
or a quern without a Danish woman grinding thereat."

Charles Kingsley, The Last of the English, on the failed Danish invasion of Ireland.



Not every household in Britain has its own Death Eater chained to the hearthstone.

A post post-modern hero is allowed to be childish, without irony, and
Is allowed a social life along with his medals, and
locks the pet in the cellar when entertaining although most of the time when sober possesses the small kindness of indifference
Although bars had been real, once upon a time, the cage and the manacles, the creature in the zoo, last of its kind, the stares and the cameras. Push sticks through the fence: see if the animal bites.
Look, mummy.
It moved.


- Isn't it lonely
Potter says
- night after night?
He says it as if he is curious, as if he really wants to know, but his eyes, over the rim of the firewhiskey glass, are bright and hard.
- do you get tired
- of your own thoughts?
- Do you ever dream
And he laughs, a dry, hacking laugh
- of escape?
- Fuck you.
Potter says, and smashes the glass on the floor, and takes the bottle to bed.


It takes half the night, crawling, to reach the first broken shard of the glass, which is not long enough
And does not cut deep enough, along the vein,
And will not stay in his grasp
So he must reach further, crawl further, with ribbons of blood winding down his wrist, over the long tendons of the back of his hands, his unfamiliar, clean, misshapen fingers, all their joints barbed and angular as a hawthorn spray
Blood dripping in perfect, crimson circles on the polished stone, beautiful
As the berries of a Rowan tree (useful for...he forgets)
But unfortunately,
Charmed and
Not as silent.


So that this particular dream is also lost
And for the sin of dreaming
And of not understanding why his own death was not, is not, coin enough
He must endure again
The grubby rifling of the scratched through thoughts of whatever remains of his mind.
Which is not unusual but under these particular circumstances, performed by this man, feels like the scoring of fingernails on a blackboard
Made of his own skin stretched on a frame
Of his own bone.


It might be easier
If there was pain
Which is just one more way of loosing yourself and at least has the benefits of being familiar
Also crawling. Also
Serving on his knees, which he did try once
Seeing that the only thing he has left to offer is himself, although he should have remembered that no one had ever found the gift of his body sufficient to atone for his mistakes
Black or white
And Potter
Only laughed when his attempts failed.


Which leaves him
On one side of the fire and Potter
On the other with the whisky.


Fin.