A Séance of Rhythms

Rumour enters the cave of the hermit; admonishing her, he tells her he has already heard it. Enough of these flights up mountain ridges, these purple-footed dances through the night; ‘Into oblivion, cast your light! Speak! Utter out of this cavern the chances distracted by dice. Throw back onto the villagers all of your inquisitions and weep into their ears this frail-fingered beleaguering you brought here. Fly!’ Moreover, at his echo, Rumour trembles, falling to his feet, kissing up his shrouded thigh.
          Undressing him, a chemical chorus of acidic tongues spills their voices, blessing them with a shower of spoiled verses, long ago condemned—both she and the hermit, lying in state; a funeral procession of their silent eyes caressing them in a well dried of all taste. He torments his mind and her heart, rationalizing, It was the occidental path which wound her, spectre-breathed, up the holy mountain, into my lair; unshared conclusions voiced subtly by the arch in his stoic lip: scrolls astride arrows with no target.
          Not a prayer, but a despair of unwilled-for tattered robes, draped in tassels of her hair and she, of all homes to dirty, chose his; those spider-spun clothes only widows can bear, raping negative space with their unawareness—gifts, they will say; memories from which they have torn their lovers’ names.
          It was Rumour, the hermit had realized, who had arrived not to be despised but to permit his solitude some pearl-strung reprieve—to furnish him such relics as her vomited fury dressed as it is in perjury: silence coughing into cohesion a chaos of reasons, excuses, and forgotten seas on which hope had sunk. Purging among the purged, the hermit breathes into broadcast his relief. She incises her abdomen, and reaching in with surgical precision, produces a child-like light, which swallows and burns to ash both of them.
          Fiery tongues, her hands of flames follow, still, the splendour of their conjugal misanthropy, as she tastes in exile—parting his cheeks. Spread-lipped, the hermit utters his truth as he experiences release. A séance of rhythms undulates atheistically into the corners of his abode—each reverberation a belief unshackled, falling into stone, trickling into their bandaged ears, as the once reprehensible guest plants into her eremitical host, the most defiant of kisses. Lapping from under the cup what intoxication even gods prohibited. That Ganymede blush fills to overflowing, both of them knowing what they know, forbidden by universal law and harmony to show its discord. Rumour laughs, biting the night without a word.
          The hermit, he teaches her the purloined alchemy meted out to him and other vagabonds; that sorcery meteorites harbour in their hearts until, hitting stone, they birth—the hermit conjures in Rumour’s palm, a note, ‘We are not alone.’
          Indeed, the cave fills with souls, each a drunkard unleashed from the æther in the form of epiphanies hitting home what even Rumour dared not to let herself know. Retreating, the hermit having been eaten, in gesticulation, sleights her hands to throw himself below; onto the village, into its crag of chimney-bare woe. Rumour herself toes there still, in the hermit’s old abode, in the darkened cave lit partly by the dim glow of her extracted heart, the line between reality and deception, doomed to walk it in eternal repetition—fashioning rejection into an art.