February 20, 2015: Swan King

How can you declare me insane?

He sits in the waters of Crater Lake, his head and shoulders sticking up over the waves.
A swan swims around him in lazy circles.

He’s wearing a grey coat, two small holes could be seen in the back.

I came here with my doctor. I think.
Now the swans are bringing me people.
But none of them will tell me their names.

Someone took my heart, I think.

He’s young, early forties.
There is a hole in his chest, leaking out into the water, staining his clothing and the swan’s feathers.

There’s an island out there. I knew him.
They ate the rest of him.
That island is all that is left of him.

I can’t get any lower. Down there, under the bottom, that’s where I need to be.

The sky fought hard that day. It was over love. It was over, love. It always is.
He sealed my descent.

It should be obvious, but it’s not.

I stand in the water next to him. He looks up at me with wild, tearing eyes.
His fingers are bent like claws.
He’s humming Das süsse Lied verhallt.
His smile gave way to pleading. He looked like a man desperate for love. Love of any kind.

I should have been faithful to Elsa. I did love her, in my own way. But Wagner can’t keep two hearts together for long.

The sun began to rise.
His eyes narrow, pain visibly showing across his face.

Tell her…tell her that Heinrich is eternally hers. She will understand.

Swans gather around the man and he slowly makes his way back to shore.
The sun is dancing over the water.
He stops on the shore and looks back at me.

How can you declare me insane?

He smiles at me. I look down at myself, knee-deep in freezing water.
When I look back up, he waves and walks away humming.

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