“Little Willie”: That's what they called my great-great grandfather--stunted and hunched and pale as a corpse with black hair and blue eyes. His back was twisted and from it he suffered chronic pain in his shoulders and hips. Blood moved thru his swollen veins in sludgy, polluted clumps, made worse by the anti-nutrition of the English pub food fry-ups that he subsisted upon. The poison his father tried to kill him with when he was a toddler pushed each of his organs to the brink of failure but it cast his immune system and his will in iron—as huge and hard as the engine of the ship that took him all the way here, to America where he deposited his lonely, broken teenage body and started again, amongst the poor, hard-scrabble immigrants who didn’t read the papers and wouldn’t remember any of the details regarding a mass murder in England a decade earlier...
i imagine him on the deck, smoking hand-rolled cigarettes and zoning out with his hat pulled low as the wind blew and the ship cut thru the waves and white foam dissolved in long, silent lines on either side of him.
He was being thrown far, far away from everything he thought he knew and into the black, cauterized spoon surface of possibility, where one is boiled down to molten lava by the blue-tipped flames of fate.
Only the strongest metal survives to be handed down…and only as an essence.
open like a child's mind.
delicate lines on delicate paper