Yes, it's another Where's Waldo of repetitive rhythms and trickiness. Please enjoy sober, folks!

Lyrics (borrowed with the intent to return) by PFR

Falling From Carousels

I don't understand

When I reach for your hand

Why I can't hold it long…

He decides in the morning after that they are fleeting.

Waking with her hair tangled in his clenched fist, he thinks perhaps they've lived this particular lie before. Only no one watches them now, no audience listens to the echoes of pretense shattering. They hadn't forged the physical mastering then and certainly aren't now, which is the one truthful thing they've allowed to survive in the daily slaughter of every other honest sentiment.

It's not that they can't be. They just don't know how.

So they settle for this, the occasional slip they can blame on drink or exhaustion or stress. Or simply being in confined spaces too long. And the resulting collision of senses seems worth the crash when he's buried up to his soul in her and she's exhaling mysteries that could either be his name exalted or curses upon them both. The darkness is an accomplice in the conspiracy and though they forget to voice direct appreciation, the slivered, orbiting guard is granted a splendid view of all it permits.

The sun has no such allegiance, casting a disparaging glow on their weakness.

It feels wrong only in the daylight, when the normal routine of corpses and clues breaks into the mechanics of their bliss, tearing out the essential pieces. Passion is coldly dismantled in waking hours. Stolen fulfillment cannot outlast the passing days and he cannot retain the ill-gotten gratification without reenacting the crime. He needs her again but must wait until the stars align with excuses. And even then, he can't hold onto her for long.

I don't want to be

Just another horse

On the merry-go-round…

She decides in the moment before that they are trapped.

Stepping around thin moonlight to settle above him, she thinks perhaps she shall not care. The universe does not stretch to infinity but rather has become ensnared on a rebellious star, folding in on itself like burning paper. Time and judgment are warped, which allows them to recycle the mistake because if life is destined to repeat, they are obliged to do their part. Arrive and retreat, like a casual army in a half-hearted war.

It's not that they can't stop. They just don't see the benefit.

So she promises herself that she will not be one of his nameless or faceless or brainless accommodations. He never speaks her name into the hush, not because he can't recall it but he seems to fear voicing anything too loudly, as a child fearing discovery. As though she'll bolt. Her own mouth feels no impulse to restrict its function. He is a criminal sneaking into a darkened dwelling and she is the resident screaming at the intrusion. Whether as warning or encouragement she's never sure. Even the stars refuse to translate it.

Sunbeams prick at her eyes to scorch the savagery in her heart.

It feels wrong only in repose, when the proper pace of her heartbeat resumes and too much unbridled thought clamors to condemn the beauty. Borrowed ignorance cannot outlive the empty weeks and she cannot swallow down the guilt when he stands too close and still beyond reach. She needs him but must accept that another could easily claim the place she too often leaves unoccupied.

I'm starting to see

Another course

And it's time I got down…

They decide in the distant interim that they are finished.

Vowing in the bright of day that indulgence is the savior of none, they think perhaps denial is better than detection. It should be less painful, desisting in prodding the wound but there's something to be said for the diligence of compulsion. Because the addiction has been deprived a source of relief, it feeds from all that is available. Guilt is eaten by generous memory, resistance devoured by sensory recall.

It's not that they can't forget. They just don't want to.

So they fashion the wreckage into a professional indifference, citing boundaries and policy and an imprudence no longer nurtured in pre-dawn secrecy. When the fingers of night scale barren walls where their shadows used to meet for the dance, there is mourning. And eyes will begin a slow transmission of messages, each promising that if one moves, the other will follow. The stars twinkle a Morse code to coax the mortals into relishing errors.

The sun glares no kinder upon their restraint than their transgressions.

It feels wrong only in seclusion, as choking loneliness makes martyrs of the impatient. Mounting regrets cannot outnumber the sullen months and they cannot disregard the ache. It has burrowed into their skins, scratching inside their veins and every word issued in compromise is the thorn of blossoming lies. Stumbling out of decorum is as natural as breathing and equally necessary. It is the culmination of frustrations that paves the path of return, lit by decisions and moonglow.