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Prose

I am in mourning…

Not because a loved one passed on,

but because I have a hole inside of me,

that once gleamed like burnished silver,

with diamond insets catching the light,

of a newly awoken sun.

It burned like the molten core of the earth,

flowing in rivers of golden ecstasy,

Filling every crevice of my body,

with an inimitable warmth.

The glow of what used to be,

is now a pulsating ember,

flickering in and out of existence,

teasing the end with its stuttering thoughts,

praying it could hold on a little longer,

though fate is quick to smother hope.

What wasn’t meant to be,

mustn’t be.

And so I go on,

missing a piece,

wishing for peace,

drinking myself to sleep.

It was your graduation party.
I remember pulling up in my used car,
Taking in the mass of luxury vehicles,
Lining your street.
Each one went up in value,
The closer they got to your house.
“I’m out of my league”
I thought.
But I guess I knew before,
I arrived.
You said you wanted me there,
The reason why,
was questionable.
Told me I helped you get through school,
With my minor edits to your essays,
And the occasional last minute ride
To class.
Really, it was all you.
Always said you were smarter
Than you gave yourself
Credit for.
You sought knowledge,
Unlike the others I had known,
Whom thought they
Had it all figured out.
You are not like them…
It was hell to be there though,
With your family, your new lover,
Whom I don’t remember,
He didn’t last long though.
Then there was me,
The old baggage.
My gift to you was our favorite wine,
After I explained its history,
A couple years before,
On your birthday.
I remember you were fascinated by it.
That smile you showed then was,
Intoxicating,
More so than the wine itself.
My heart has been
Hopeless since then.
I didn’t want to stay
For the bottle opening,
But you insisted.
I felt a pain like nothing
before or since.
It wasn’t just the sickness,
Slowly taking over my body.
That was something else
Entirely.
But this pain was formidable
Enough that I gulped my glass
Of stars
Like an alcoholic
After the cork popped.
Then I made my escape.
Said I didn’t feel well.
It was the truth.
Not long after,
My mom rushed me to
The emergency room:
Atrial fibrillation,
Among other things.
I was almost grateful,
If I’m honest.
It was a good reason to
Stay away.
And so I did.
I healed up nicely,
My mind even felt brand new.
Only took a few
years.
But you didn’t forget me,
It seemed.
And so the cycle renewed.
It didn’t take long,
For those old embers to reignite,
The rusted furnace of
my soul,
At a dinner you arranged
For us, and oddly, your mother.
She didn’t help the situation:
When you excused yourself
To freshen up,
Your mother told me she,
Wished you and I got married,
Because apparently,
You spoke mighty highly
Of me,
Quite often.
Ain’t that a hoot?
Didn’t know what to say,
A timid “Thank you?”
Is all that came out.
So I concluded that
Our relationship,
If that’s an appropriate term,
Wasn’t ending anytime soon,
And there was no point in
Running away.

In the last four years I have experienced pains that I never thought would come to me. I have felt the searing flames of over-active nerve endings fire off throughout my body. I have taken steps that felt like red-hot coals replaced the cool hospital floors. I have felt the sting of countless needles failing to find their mark, wriggling around in a futile effort to find the crimson life. I have felt the clawing ache of ruined joints, making an effort to dissuade my every move. I have felt the burning sensation of medicine meant to eradicate invasions, slowly atrophy my veins to uselessness. I have felt what happens when the needle meant to find the fluid, finds the spine instead. Through all of that, never has anything hurt more, than loving a person that will always try to keep you close, yet make you feel so far away.

If we tried to put a price on happiness

the invoice would always total: madness.

It may feel delightful at first,

Eliciting a reaction we rehearsed

in front of our gilded mirrors,

for a fleeting glimpse.

All the while, we try to fill the hole,

with excess feigning success,

always chasing humility with vanity.

We rarely catch it in time;

our downfall.

The ledge from which we tumble

raised by our own pedestal

Where we lay our riches,

was all along crumbling beneath,

waiting for that fateful step,

when all falls through.

Lately the only true peace I have known

is what I feel when I’m driving alone

with the moon gleaming like a diamond

In a dark sky as the world slows down.

In that moment is where I exist,

never lost or thought to resist,

I simply drive as I wave goodbye

to the tumult of the day,

praying that tomorrow,

humanity might find its way

To a place where we all find that peace

where love conquers hate.

but hoping for it doesn’t help

when the only way is change.

I was wandering in a war-field when it happened,

Bleary eyed and alone, stumbling over debris,

Curious as to why the canons of my ramparts ceased.

The once lush green landscape I cherished, now blackened;

deep gashes and fallen oaks lay in splintered heaps.

Yet in spite of all that remained in utter disrepair,

all that seemed disastrous and rife with despair,

A reincarnation of Athena arose from afar

ascending a hill to the East like a phoenix

Rising unscathed from the ashes around her.

Her hair caught in the breeze and streamed

like dark chestnut flames setting the air on fire;

each tendril struck the ether like flint upon stone.

And the deep brown in her almond eyes alighted

Like twin beacons of hope to the lost and the stranded;

They drew me in without effort, I found it futile to resist.

______

At first it was blinding, her inimitable light,

the ethereal gleam cast by the setting sun

Reflected like Archimedes’ fire from her armor,

A burnished silver suit with ornate engravings

flowing like intricate streams of gold from head to toe,

Forcing my eyes to adjust to her otherworldly glow.

______

She rode atop a white stallion with a red bridle,

Studded with sapphire stones and polished silver rivets,

its silken mane flowed like the finest threads

Spun by the nimblest hands of Olympia’s best.

The rider then surveyed the ashen wastes strewn

About her by the gnarled hands of the misled,

yet she showed no sign of reluctance, no urge to flee

instead, she called across the field, beckoning

With an outstretched hand, and a beaming smile.

______

Swiftly it shattered my inhibitions, that simple flash of teeth.

And as I grew closer, a warmth began to bloom within my chest,

At first like a candle trying to illuminate a vast and empty room,

slowly growing into a vibrant torch alighting every corner.

I felt my body relax as I was pulled closer toward the hill,

Enveloped in a tender warmth this body had never know before.

My eyes grew heavy and before I arrived, they had all but closed

allowing myself to fall under her spell, with her hand now upon my head,

and a whisper in my ear that “destruction never revives the dead;

hear me now, you cannot let the dark times rule your kingdom

For the sun does not shine on a mind with closed doors.

Let the light filter through, tear down those towering walls

And allow your soul to live free of such poisonous pride.”

______

 When her hand raised slowly from my head, my eyes opened;

the world had regained its color, the ancient oaks now stood tall

The upturned earth now settled into grassy plains,

And the songbirds were filling the air with their avian twang.

The divots and the shrapnel embedded in my walls disappeared.

And though the rider had vanished, her influence remained.