Richard Pierce

Life, Poetry

Day 259

our heat

our heat escapes us
so quickly
here the gone
the ice returns
and burns instead
a contradiction
like everything

and we say
life wasn’t meant
to be easy
to be complete
to be simple
to be what we
want it to be

and so we choose not to change direction

the dark comes
too soon in
every way
when we need
the light of love
of kindness
of praise
of warmth
and the wells of
it are empty

and so we choose not to feel

except for those
moments when
we forget ourselves
forget the mantras
inflicted on us
by bible and class
by royalty and politics
by the old ways
which should be forgotten

and so we choose to live sometimes

like everything
we are contradictions
we are still warm
when the heat
leaves the summer
when breath ceases
and only words remain



And then, as her eyes grow more familiar with the room in the darkness she keeps with her to stay safe, she realises it’s not a throne room she’s in. It’s more like a court room, a room where people are judged and sentenced. The judge’s chair and bench at one end of the room, though there’s something behind them she knows she will have to explore, and only a few, five or six, rows of pews in front of the raised dais the judge will have presided from. And all around, the wood panelling, which intrigues her. She skirts the judges area, and the wooden dividers, a fence really, surrounding it, a circular exclusion zone for the ordinary, she supposes, the way all those in power like to exclude those they think are inferior to them, walks at first across to the left side of the room, which, in effect, is a square with a circle in it. Perhaps whatever they did (or do) in here is trying to square circles, she thinks. Up close to the wood panelling, which, to her, is now as visible as it would be in bright daylight, she reaches out and touches the smooth wood, highly-polished. It could be beech, and its grain is dark and disorganised against the lighter wood that makes up its majority. She pushes, like she pushes at everything and the panel she’s touching recedes at first, and then springs out towards her so quickly she has to jump out of its way.

But it’s not the secret passage she’d expected. It’s a deep cabinet of files. Or would have been had there been any files left in there. Empty. Aggie tries the next one. That’s empty, too. The thing is, these are period filing cabinets, custom-built for this room, she’s certain  of that. And if the previous inhabitant of this house knew about them and has taken them away, like Marion told her, how did he know about this place? Is it a secret passed from President to President, via a letter full of secrets that never leave the White House? A secret never to be told? Except the orange man has told someone, someone across half the world, the man right now trying to subjugate Ukraine. Aggie can’t believe that war started only a few days ago, and wonders how long it will last, and how it will end. With the world in ruins? Perhaps they can change the course of it, her and Cassie, her and Lily, her and Robert. All of them, this ridiculous little band of nobodies who think they can change the world and fight against the evil and darkness that Valentine and his accomplices are trying to spread. She closes the two empty drawers, and suddenly realises the enormity of the task she has in front of her, because there must be thousands of these drawers around this room. She just hopes that some of them will have something in them that points her in the right direction. She crosses the room again. More empty files. Finally, she finds her way to behind the judgment chair. It’s there she finds drawers and drawers full of files. And the first one she picks out and opens confirms her suspicions. More albino children. More deaths. More experiments.

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