All These the Violent Children (An Episode of Length)
It is raining.
The children, they play. The rocks are knuckle bones. The jacks dried cartilage. The paint is red and the red is blood and the blood is what they took from one another when no one was looking, when sometimes some of them these children lay down for naps and others of these children only pretend and wait for giggled snoring and then steal a bit of paint from those forearms, where the elbow bends, and with rags of gasoline or fingers over mouths, no one has to even then wake up for the moments like this.
The clouds make shapes. The clouds form castles. The clouds build worlds. The children they sit in the rain and look up at the sky and think about clouds that drop down saw blades on their heads and how the wells of water are filling up with nails and how the hammers have come down yesterday and today and how a hacksaw if properly bladed can take off their hands at the wrists, their feet at the ankles.
The rope of their tetherball is a strung out small intestine. The look in their eyes, these children, is how it looks to be gone.
The playground is asphalt. The asphalt is a black river. A black river is how a river looks when children have plunged into it, sternums culled open, hearts beating inside of rain and river water.
It is this rain that is coming down as it has been.
The moon through a broken window is broken. These the children don’t remember a moon that wasn’t broken. To these the children this is how the moon is supposed to be, except in the pictures in the books when it looks like a moon made round, how it used to be a circle. How it used to be was teachers and classrooms. How it used to be was mothers and fathers and homes where they went when there were homes to go to. How it used to be that they would holds hands and say Amen and all the trees would bend and grieve with them.
It is raining. How it used to be. This, how it is.
The playground is not a cloud. The children are not sky. The stars are not candy. The blood is not satin. The opened arms are not rivers. The classrooms are not education. The chalkboards are not games. The books are not castles. The eyes are not wells. The wells are not water. The water is not tenable.
There are hammers and saw blades and children cutting open each other, seeking. There is a search that is on. This is a water that cannot be turned down. This is a world in rain.
There is rain.
It is raining.
This is how this is.
J. A. Tyler is the author of seven novel(la)s including Inconceivable Wilson (Scrambler Books, 2009) and In Love with a Ghost (Willows Wept Press, 2010). He is also founding editor of Mud Luscious Press: www.mudlusciouspress.com.
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