[personal profile] xaara
Back in the day, I was talking to my poetry professor. (It was one of the conversations we had that was actually about poetry instead of gardening, which turned out to be our other shared passion.) I told him that I couldn't hear my prose. I thought it was okay, but I wasn't ever sure.

That's because you're a poet, he said, and shrugged, and we went back to discussing how to use the metric ton of grape tomatoes our vines had yielded that year.

I didn't know what he meant until I wrote this, which turned out to be a lullaby, a long-form sonnet, a love song. Or, y'know, 400 words of pretentious iambic prose, complete with alliteration and internal rhyme. I've read it out loud a million times, I have a sore throat, and I'm done trying to figure it out.

As always (and especially here), all feedback ranging from "huh" to "wtf srsly" is welcome.

Title: Flicker
Author: [livejournal.com profile] xaara
Rating: PG
Timeline: season 5-ish (no spoilers)
Characters: Dean/Castiel
Summary: His charge, who sings the songs of sirens

So close to earth, he almost thinks it might not hurt to fall.

The feel of things he once dismissed as transient. He watches Dean enfold a cup of coffee with his calloused hands and thinks you cannot capture heat like something with a soul. And still they try with bodies burning bright as stars, dead long before they blink into the dark.

He learns their language, watching one whose words have bound and unbound lives, whose prayers like smoke mean nothing to the air.

They think they speak in words, in lines, in prose and verse and song. In alphabets, in acronyms, in like and as, a system of approximates. But here: his charge, who sings the songs of sirens over grating metal, mile after mile ribboned like a symphony.


My name is Castiel, he says. I am an angel of the Lord. An agent of the world as yet to come.

You know, says Dean, outside of Bobby's, bourbon on his breath. You know, as angels go, he starts again, and Castiel hears things unspoken trailing in his sigh.

I try, says Castiel. When Dean extends a drink, he takes it. Smoky liquor meets his vessel's throat, and he relaxes just enough to let this body tell him he should cough.

Dean lays a hand between his shoulder blades. His wings are withered shadow-thin, like phantom limbs that haunt the living here. Hey, man, Dean says, slow down. The hand should not feel warm, not through the skin and cloth, the creeping chill of night. And humans have such little heat, and spend it fast and willingly, caught up together in their flawed design.

You burn so bright, the angel says, and Dean smirks, What, you think I'm hot?, and Castiel with wrecked resolve turns into him and finds his lips and holds him like the flicker of a candle flame: too far, and it gives nothing back; too close, and fingers, or a breath, pinch off the promised light.
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May 2010


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