Knock, Knock

Head banging.
How many nights?
Countless if you don't count.
Seconds don't matter when all time is now.
The glaring, always-there present that cannot be outraced or catapulted past; or remembered.
The pipe, the flame, the eucalyptus stench, the draw, the hold, the release, the pipe, the flame, rinse and repeat, repeat.
Were she still here, kissing your eyes closed, exhaling salt air, and washing your feet with her tears, would you save her, or
simply give thanks for a moment of aah and blessed relief?
If you answered the jittery knock-knock joke in your heart, wondering in the hummingbird instant when the valve blocks the
blood's return if you can collect those moments and string them together like a flip book animation, would her face then flicker
to life, like a super-8 Lady of Lourdes ghosting the foot of your bed?

But there is no bed, no movie, only a ground-level view of the splintered floorboards stretched beneath broken chairs and ice
floes of sharded window glass surrounding a regiment of dead Colt 45 soldiers.
Cold wind blows over the curve of her supine ridge, an arctic express gusts through her canyons and scrubby, thatched caves.
In the icy air no steam erupts, no streams spill from her hardened-magma lips.
No sun-stored heat radiates from her obsidian body.
Her open eyes are dry.
A howling sound.
Who's there?