Gospel groans straining, hey sung out, vibrating in electronic godhopefulness, she tortures me these echoes inside.
The pain oscillates, too, forming in physical some dispersal, leaking out of holes in the skin, sifting through muscles & feeling the same fat, beating like a choked river, mud wiping its way to some vague, unbelieved in ocean, weak, big with insects & amphibians, unfit for fish, trying to swim through this to the sea.
Again, what faith? Only the one. The same one. Wobbly darkness.
Afterwards, when the sleep had come & gone & here’s morning, we called my brother over to us, talked to him of our doubts, what we hoped from him, that the plan hadn’t worked, & here is a new day & we turned to him, asked him to hold our hands in his.
Alfred looked at us, tired still & sour, walked into the bathroom. We heard him spit, urinate, brush his teeth, gargle, spit, & gulp down some water, the aluminum cup ringing on the porcelain.
“I can’t do this,” he said. Our hearts sank; you could hear them! It was terrible. I for one was angry at the boy & wanted to strike him, but I wouldn’t dare before Max.
“I won’t remind you of your debt to us in too much detail,” said the man, “but we require of you a more dedicated response.”
“The days I’ve spent learning from you, isolated, what do I owe you? I learned not only what you told me to, but also other things, means, behavior, pride, distrust,” said Alfred, who had begun to pace in a very small circle, careful not to get too close to us or rub against any of the machine parts or carved glass.
“Ok,” he said to me when he came to the door, turned around, opened it gingerly, nodded as he slipped behind it, such a quick snap to, he turned the locks loudly & was all gone.