The sun rises, early morning light in the attic— that’s not what wakes me—
it was your footsteps on the stairs that did it.
It was the steady hum of conversation— it was nosy intrigue — the desire to listen in.
I was awake, and pretending I was asleep.
I was naive to think that I would win.
I was mad to think of this as a game to begin with.
 
The sun rises, early morning light in the attic—
you’re talking your language—
and I’m pretending I don’t know what that means.
I’m pretending. I’m pretending a lot.
But we’re young and naive, so we keep secrets here like currency,
And I swore to myself that I’d never, ever, run out.
Not even now. Not even now.
We were damned to begin with.
 
The sun rises, fog rolls over the city—
paints you grey like an old photograph,
or a ghost doctored into a picture frame.
A ghost trying to stitch fact and memory back together again.
A ghost, on a tape recording— long note, hazardous explanation—
things I shouldn’t hear— things I shouldn’t understand.
But I understand perfectly.
I knew where this was going from the beginning.
 
The sun rises, fog rolls over the city—
you get lost here, like you don’t live here anymore,
like you never really did.
I think you would have liked it like that—
back then, in the midst of everything.
To be gone without ever really leaving.
You didn’t tell me where you were going.
You didn’t tell me you were going at all.
But I knew. 
I knew it all from the beginning.
 
The sun rises, bright enough to shine through all things translucent—
us memory folk are confined,
to the attic, the record player, the sofa bed,
curled up uncomfortably in the corner,
loud conversation that only echoes around my head.
Now, it’s silent all around us.
It’s okay, I know what song you’re playing
without ever actually needing to hear it.
I know it because you inked the notes into your skin.
You, too, knew where this was going.
 
The sun rises, bright enough to shine through all things translucent—
us memory folk are getting tired and thinking about going back to bed,
going back to our own heads,
but nothing mundane like that can excite us anymore.
We want to find something here,
in this attic, a truth yet unwritten, a memory not yet stolen—
but a flickering series of hazy still-image picture frames is doing us little service.
Clever. You, knew who I was going to be.
 
The sun rises, and the fresh November air drifts in through the attic window—
I am awake, pretending to be asleep, and you are just the same as me—
half-way down the stairs, having a conversation, making an escape route—
none of which, I am supposed to hear.
That’s not the secret I have stolen— that’s not what did it—
it’s what comes after— it’s the ghouls we all grow up into—
When we decide that people aren’t what we want to be.
We saw it then, coming. 
But could do nothing to stop it.
Even if we wanted to.
 
The sun rises, and the fresh November air drifts in through the attic window—
I am awake, and so are you. Standing in your half-formed ghoul body,
peering up the stairs, looking beautiful.
I want to stop you—
I want to stop you going, running wherever you’re running to—
but I couldn’t have stopped any of this, even if I was really trying to.
 
The sun rises, early morning light in the attic— that’s not what wakes me—
it was your footsteps on the stairs that did it.


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