The Lictor

Consider the Lictor. The executioner. The carnifex. He is dragging my wounded soul, not to be confused with my soul, through the ragged square of every minute. Saying he is always there means nothing, because there is no "there" or "when" without him. How then can I describe him? But I must. I look through the goggles of night, bewildered and guided by my tears. I've always read that tears obscure vision, some sort of film that covers the cornea. But I was born with broken eyes, my cornea never more than a small padlock on the eternal doors to the wounded soul. There's a book where a hero falls into a bar and two monsters fall into a pit. I feel reversed, the pit into which heroes fall, the bar where monsters drink, long hail the King!

There are no Kings without Lictors just like there is no me without words, no thought without paragraphs, no pain without books.

Through the square, then, he drags the naked woman, my wounded soul, grasping her by hair long made brittle by considerations and after-thoughts and after-despairs. His other hand, the second fist also clenched, holds the sword. Perhaps one day I'll be brave enough to tell you about the sword. But not today. The twisted nevers that make up the buildings, all second-story abandoned, empty hovels of lost breaths and lost hopes and lost coats, frame her face with silent words. You do not deserve her face. It un-shines, un-calls, un-winds but you do not deserve it. The Lictor doesn't care. Bespectacled with the vision that comes with prayer, he gazes through and out and sideways into the never-place through which he walks, where the minutes breathe. In my fragile hours, places of love and doubt and longing, I try to work the writer's tool, empathy. I try to see-feel-think like the Lictor, try to feel my boots, armoured, ripping apart the fabric of the square, holding the woman, holding the sword. These are usually the moments where I come the closest to insanity. The worst thing about those moments, is that you're supposed to hear voices but I hear nothing, silence, except the thump-clang-thump-clangof the Lictor's-mine own iron boots tearing the cobbles.

So through that place he walks. And all your Freuds will now chime in of phallic symbols! and mother complexes! taboos and ancient rotes! and to them I say, mark these well:

"Fuck. That."

The carnifex is real. Consider the Lictor. I have not managed to say a word about him.

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