The Time to Die
Written by James Wolff
It is found in the dim light of five a.m. that men make shields out of starving oak. That boxes marked “fragile” remain unpacked. That clouds move seamlessly through hilltops and groves of orange trees and don’t ever, ever stop. It is found that I am not yet dead, pray no man test. For I have not found the time to die.
It is known to us that men in the dark are not to be trusted. That nothing dead is ever lost to us. That thoughts come from the heart. That if adrenaline drives a man mad, he is a victor, and if he is a victor, he is another man’s better half forever. This is known to us. It is known that I am not yet dead, pray the vultures stay hungry. For I have not found the time to die.
There is a legend: says a woman once found a locket amongst the fir trees close to home. She wished the woman inside was her own, that they were nothing less than lovers. Says a giant crushed his own son to death. He held him tightly until he was no more, and wept. Says two children lived happily, but never without the other. And these travelers still live.
It is found among other things that coffee beans are a sickening sweetness which we grow to love. We sip and we accept that to travel in time is to go precisely nowhere. When we worry about the morning hours we notice that the black birds sleep cautiously beyond thin window panes. Their beaks are bloody and raw while I lie awake, eyelids unshut, and still very much alive.
It is kept in secrecy among travelers and others that if we fight, we fight for our lives and never the lives of others. It is widely believed that nature tests its mettle in houses of three. Bestial, virulent bastards live longest and cast heavily the taste of iron. In calmer storms the trees do sway thorough and quiet, while the warmth leaves with the door swinging.