Alas, the King Becomes You


The king wrote a proclamation on a servant’s head. Then he did that sidelong walk
stray dogs borrow from jealous husbands and constipated sheep. The witnesses had the
feeling they were all going to stand up and start crying, but they didn’t.
Then the king’s holy windfarm erupted. Some colored Easter death was walking
around demanding attention. It blew itself around a lot, but its shell was empty “It can’t
be explained. That’s why it makes so much sense,” said the king’s intellectual terrorist
disguised as a priest/journalist.
“A squeezed bird does not sing,” predicted one of the uninsured oracles.
Like a prison made of holes is the king’s brain. A disaster looking for hugs. An
anthology of subtraction. (His voice seemed strong, but his newspaper trembled.) “I’d
never think of killing myself,” he exclaimed. But then he’d never thought of many things.
And then it was, “I’m tired of people without any spikes sticking out of them.”
Another proclamation. (Something for the guards to do.)
“Oh but he’s such a darling,” said the Queen always, meaning he lets her come
first. Meaning I didn’t know we were this close, but okay. Meaning the kingdom is in for
another siege. Witnesses scatter and the queen disguises her cherished strawberry
marmalade as an interview with decapitated rebels. The king orders all farm animals to
identify their ancestors. He is no longer confused by weather. He perceives himself as
assertive and it’s just that the sky’s children have simply decided to play elsewhere today
and the sky, the sky is white with agreeable puffy answers.
Meaning darkness may no longer surround us, but the king’s voice has grown small
and certain, terribly certain, like a man who tells you of the coming seasons as if they sat
in the chair next to him.
Meaning some more ordinary things have been made more fascinating by omission
from the daily kingdom. Meaning filthy and far too loud, this life falls into us and out
again as sudden pain dipped in charm and delight, and we attach to it both our pride and
doubt, loving them as the beast that brought us our replacement and guarantee of losing
some part of ourselves in gain of royal monument deep in memory’s o’ertraveled halls.
Meaning the one missing command is merely the blind daughter of a beautiful
stone. Meaning all intentions must be annulled. This could be anywhere, but it’s not. The
kingdom you live in, lives within you. It’s a kind of theft. You might wish to take some

Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.