the angel has always been there, even if he doesn’t always remember. it’s not easy, after all, to think in veins of leaves and haloed particles once one becomes used to the solidarity of blood and electric nodes, bones under muscle under skin like so many layers of earth, right down to the molten beating core. human brains have trouble with the language of winds, the laughter of grass, the poetry of stones. so much gets lost in translation.

it’s much easier when you speak in stardust and the twitch of feathers which might, or might not, be there; this angels understand, a tongue of indefinites. when he can remember what it was like, he misses this. he looks at two winter-eyed, summer-skinned boys and would like to be able to say

(the turning of the moss as a fawn flees to mother, unbearable sunlight spilling around the curve of the moon, the spinning eye of a galaxy, the iron in the heart of a dying star, a breath of air down the tiger’s back, the vibration of a thrumming bass in metal and leather, the space between fingers on the steering wheel, prismic songs of water against the flanks of leaping salmon, carbon dioxide like milk in tea blooming white in the air, constellations shining on a dark mirrored hood, a lullaby in the hollow of an ear, the last sigh of autumn, hey jude, on her lips, hey jude hey jude hey jude)

—but he has forgotten how.

(by the banks of a river he hums a song that he does not remember, cracks “make it better” over his wrists and wonders why he says it)

He sighs and blinks and looks away instead, and later, forgets.

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