M A T C H S T I C K
“And to his rock be bound eternal; forever gifting man all that is infernal.
Bound by chain, suffering as the eagle’s meal; freedom bought by the one who shall steal.
Unto the eagle’s beak his blood be lash; to control he who shall become our man of ash.”
There’s something about the heavenly reflection of that silver-tongued devil which comforts me.
The cigarette pursed between his lips, concealing that dubious, devilish grin, making sure he got every cent of his money’s worth. His voice shot through the smoke, telling me that he could bleed his heartbeat into my resting soul—he was singing unto deaf ears; but temptation is the source of our humanity, our fallibility, so I let his blood become mine.
This was where Matchstick bought the man who shall steal.
Eden, the goddess of Sienna, is above perfection—she is the beauty inherent in all creations. A benevolent goddess, mother to the infinite sky: her creations have become known as nature. Here in her forest, under the auspice of speckled ashes we call the night sky, was where my mistaken martyrdom was born. “Let the ashes speak for all eternity,” she told me. I was convinced she had gone mad, but after reflection, I realized it was just beyond my understanding. In her eyes, everything was a matter of give and take, and she knew it was about time someone came along and took.
Laying on my back, with my head against the stump of a weeping willow, leaves crinkled with the movement of my feet. Peering through cradled tree branches, out into the speckled ashes once again, I felt my blood beginning to move. Matchstick closed my eyes.
The ashes were now speaking, singing the song of Matchstick throughout the forest. With his body embracing the blood of Prometheus, he was searing clean the branches of countless trees during his ascent. Matchstick lay on his back, gravitating above the tips of oaks and evergreens; the flames had now become magma, flowing out of his body like a fountain of hell. For years, Matchstick burned—fending off the forces of Eden, he burned brighter and brighter. The realm was aflame, forever. Once the forest had been razed, he descended, kneeling as a man of ash. “One more burn, one more for humanity: let the ashes speak for all eternity.” The gasoline stung the orifices which still spewed magma, but his suffering was to end, all with the strike of a match.
In the garden of Sienna, Matchstick rose from his ashes. He saw no pearly gates, nor an arbiter of holy judgment. Through the destruction he wrought, he ushered in a new life—a fertile forest for a world without fire. In this garden, the trees were none like the ones he had burned in the realm beneath Sienna. They were copies of one another, symmetrically aligned in the shape of a hexagon. Above the garden was the Weaver, whose webs were spun between all trees and across all branches; with Eden’s touch, it became known as humanity. The master web breathed and fluctuated within the ebb of time; the people of Sienna were forbidden to interfere with the web’s fate. Rising from our ashes, standing under the web of all life, Matchstick struck his namesake on his arm one last time. His irises illuminated with the reflection of burning strings of silk.
“Chained to the rock no more; no longer tormented as before.
Into his body his blood return; mankind no longer his guilty concern.
Into the speckled ashes he disappears; never to be tempted by man’s tears.”