Two birds fight the wind and rain, soaring inertly above the glistening tarmac. Shooting downwards between speeding trucks on an industrial road, feasting upon a recently flattened toad. The mania enveloping their world, easily viewable. The frantic motion of their dive. Just to tear a morsel. Leaping over. Lights flash by in the static of rain and rubber that is heard far into the distance.
Shifting the silverskin lining of inglorious pools, a young man runs across.
Chasing the disappearing something, that becomes nothing, disappeared.
His quick breaths were silenced under bellowing precipitation.
A fire light reaches out to the gloom.
A vagrant figure appears out of an abandoned porch lit only from behind, approaching the young man, breaching the distance between them with his shuffling gait, his head glancing towards the birds who had taken purchase of the earth beneath them.
He stopped to watch the vagabond step awkwardly closer to him, when time ceased and no other noise could be heard, the rainstorm beating at the sheets of metal.
Silent movements of the wanderer, fully cloaked and concealed to the young man, stood underneath him now disguising his face. He realised he hadn’t moved, feeling flooded, he did not feel like wading through the lucid atmosphere. He stood, statuesquely.
The Homeless raised his arm slowly until he could stretch his hand through his thick cloak, he put it to the boy’s chest.
Streaking grime descended upon his clothes, cascading down infusing with the rainbows born of oil and rainwater around his feet, turning to blackness.
The young man sensed the Vagrant was speaking, but his voice was lost in the stream, he sensed the air around him was reeking, only when the winds ceased their lashing and felt the unordinary reality within this discordant scene. As unreal as he felt.
The Drifter had dared to tilt his head to reveal his face to the boy, much taller than he, the orange glow of the fire that grew despite the downpour, barely illuminating them both.
Peering downwards, dirt had filled the lines of ages, a broken jaw, an expression seeming of a constant grimace, one eye closed against the floods, the other open afflicted with a blackened iris. Like that of night marbled in essence. Clouds under moonlight obscuring and revealing brightness.
He was watching the fire now, feeling all that was never shown to him, now the Homeless had fallen to his knees and withdrew his hand and face, now a shell at the boys feet. Uncloistered consciousness shot through his senses, he realised he had not said a word. The fire grew gargantuan, the birds called out contentedly, a truck stormed by howling past the helpless shell and the boy. At rest in twilight’s dimming blue.
If only one knew how to stand,
Headlights obliterate the distance between us,
In Spring storms when daylight gives way,
You are nearer now,
Whence our grasps met,
Your song had given way to the instant,
Yet the sweetest savour, taken in the aftermath,
I was wrong to share in readying oneself to live,
Bare teeth and yawn,
Focusing your honeyed eyes,
Days are stained absent your life,
Lay me down now,
Into your iridescent purity.
Words by Dan.
Photographs by Rafael Milani.