History of my Spine

I’m tempted to not write about my spine, because it’s not terribly interesting to anyone that has one of their own. But I feel I must. It is my crucible and it’s hard to come away from the serpentine fillet without feeling defeated, but not destroyed and drunk with oblivion’s ambrosia. In fact, I feel like that burning man in the midsection of some desert whose edifice comes cascading down in back-drafts and belches of fire spit and spark following a fiery rendezvous. The ceremony’s over and it’s time to go home; little lingers but my scorched shadow on the ground and attending detritus. I am the heap of smoldering slag circumnavigated by ambling ghosts on their way out. Sifting through the ashes won’t help necessarily; perhaps a note of discontent can be discerned from the smudges, a bleached political manifesto or a shard of some discordant musical score peeled off silvered staves, but I doubt it. While the spine is a scroll of tightly wound narrative, the keelson of our vessel, it also suffices as kindle for straightforward combustion. Plus, fire never sleeps until it’s snuffed. The flashpoint site, its feathery shreds, sticks and stench after salvaging sorties is best dispensed by Hopi, Boreas or Zephyrus and scattered under far flung rugs. Surd exeunt the new pages will be scored at a latter interval in keeping with history’s fancy for exalted breath, over the stacks of ossuary bone or ascending pyre tendril. New sheaths begin anew to be gathered and rolled to buttress the damaged backbone; old copies loaned out or in storage, long forgotten vertebras of memory, association, and sapiential ambergris is re-acquired and the spine is reconstituted – over an extended period of composition, time and agony. Another draft accumulates. In this assembly, a keen interest of matches, the implements of destruction – the eternal flame reaching for the tapered fuse that resides within me – fires circumspection and forges the fresh brace of my spine. I stand straight at last and look at myself in the reflecting surface and begin the sober pyromaniac’s tale.
I have in my hand a flaming torch. Call me Jonah.

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