Building cages from fence posts

I

With robust assurances his heart gives him leave, and he chooses where to put up fence posts. A random job at best, like cliff jogging in fog, he dons a belt of desire with the tools of need. Soon, even the smallest creature will set its mind to the task of destroying what little is planted – turnips, sour, or lettuce, damp – sustenance an after thought to the insistent impracticalities of spice and garnish, sweet. 

II

He hums a happy tune, just loud enough to drown out his wiser, elder self – safe but jejune, unlike the dashing rarities of a ripe and unpitted longing. It helps to take the edge off catacombed thoughts, still damp and painted brightly in drooping caves of swelling light.

III

He watches how her tongue dances from lips to teeth, teeth to palette and back again – mesmerized like too much moon behind too little cloud. He matches word for word, glance for glance and what started as picket fence has become an encampment. And his bludgeoned fingers bleed and weep only slightly less than his forehead, sweat-bedewed in the ritual of dalliance.

IV

The stumps go down, first one, then another, haphazard arrangement built to harbor dreams, not capture dreamers. Nails leap from hammer in wood soft and easy, like feet in wet clay. And soon, the world watches in the laissez faire of bored repetition. Not even an eyebrow raised, curious about a man backing into his own battlements, a penned bird, stuck in a cage he built while looking the other way.

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