Lillies

Come, young one. See us beneath the glow.

Their eyes twinkle at odd angles with the light, like small diamonds set upon a backdrop of deepest velvet. My heart pounds steadily as I feel the blood rush to my head. I’m exhilarated and uncertain. This has been the moment I’ve waited for, a moment I’ve dreamt of in perfect solitude. All of the dreaming, the pondering, the magic. Every drop of it.

All this time, only to be afraid. I can certainly hurt you if I please but I’m here to listen and converse with you tonight, this special night. Come to me, and be brave.

The leader’s voice was shrill but eloquent and commanding. I’m neither afraid nor without courage, I tell the table in even tones. The air grows quiet as they still themselves. I’m thinking of how I came to this moment, I say, because I want to remember it for later. I want to remember every second.

Why are we here?

I won’t give you the position you seek. I’m here to negotiate terms, to see if I can find a an impartial balance to the havoc I’ve wreaked.

Murmurs amidst the shrouded figures. I could hear their heavy robes shuffling beside one another. The leader of the ensemble, the one who spoke, looks up into the light and removes his cowl. All bone and no muscle, but bright eyes set deep in the skull. He looks down in thought for a moment, then back up at me. His stare burns into the deep reaches of my bones, and I exhale a long breath in the hopes of maintaining my composure.

We are here because we belong to you, and yet you command so little of this reach. Tell us, what do you think we can do for you after all this time?

I approach the table and the still shrouded figures fan out so there is one chair for the taking. I sit down and remove my own cowl, and let out another long breath. I feel like myself again, here beside the ones I’ve summoned. What is the price for this at present? I ask as I point at my beating heart. The leader’s eyes rake across my face and land squarely at eye level. They glimmer with thought.

Why your own and not another? My reach expands beyond the mortal mind, and I can see the soul you seek just beyond the vale.

My hands tremble at the thought, as I didn’t think this possible. I was under the impression that I was allowed to request a modification to myself and no one else, I tell them. If this is the case, I want you to find him and prolong the judgment and subsequent afterlife. I’ll trade whatever you require. The leader’s eyes sparkle with fire as it lays a skeletal hand onto the table. I place mine into the boney grasp without a second thought.

I recall the day I crafted you, down to the ligament. You remained still and silent through the pain, not a sound uttered. You were worth more than a thousand of them. My eternal eyes have not laid sight on any such creation since.

He was uncharacteristically tender as my weight hovered in his spindly grasp. He seemed wistful if it could be said of such a creature, borne of my dark dreams. I feel my eyes moisten at the mention of pain. I look down in equal parts shame and rage. Long minutes pass as we sit in silence and it all sinks back into me. I look up at him.

My darling. You have strayed from the path. You have suffered more than I thought possible. It is marvel and pity, and I will have no more of this. I require what has always been.

My complexion drains of color as I think back on all I had done with the sight of my maker above me. All of the things I wasn’t given, all I had gained and all I had lost. I have little left to offer, I say.

You have been mine since your inception, as I am yours. Keep me in your darkness and do not forget my presence nor the reach of my grasp, as it may be commanded by the one I deem worthy. I made you and I will have you remain as such.

I look into the ancient eyes, unblinking and unyielding.

I have forgotten you in the quest to become another. I have forgotten my own reach. I will honor this bequest here and onwards. I will have your power with me, a life for the many lives lost. I return to my better self in confidence, and he straightens up as he sees my alignment in form.

Take it, and keep it. I will be here. We will be here.

As I make to leave the dark and cold room, I look back at my maker. I wonder if I have asked for the unforgivable, the unredeemable and yet, I know it to be just. I see him watch my every movement, without judgment or afterthought or decision. Merely a statement of presence and purpose, that he would remain there till I return next.

They belonged to me, the immemorial wraiths. There inside, part of every nerve and muscle, thought and action. I would go forth, and do well to remember such.

Lament

We found our paths to each other
by way of fate and convenience
at a point in our lives when it made most sense.
Years of near loving and living
are drowned out by facts of undiluted truth,
the reality that we consciously failed to see for a time.
Here you and I stand at a crossroads,
looking into each other’s unfailing eyes
and I realize how hard I’ve tried to love you.
It didn’t happen a decade ago
and it’s not going to happen now,
our fate is long overdue, past its expiration.
I gain bits and pieces of clarity
with each new day that I live
truthfully and without pretense.
Another mountain range
and I’m headed south again
where I end up in the vale beyond.
I can’t go on forcing myself to love
someone who cannot see what I see,
I can’t give away so much in return for so little.
But the sadness of the fallout,
the trail of misery left behind in the wake of all this,
there is where we have to face each other.

Relinquish

Be generous with that dose, I could use a puff of idealism
here in this velvety room filled with musky affection,
no more a detriment to my emotional unwavering than your reality.
I know it to be true, the speed of loneliness siphoning through my veins
at an alarming rate, disavowing my sense of control
and barely keeping my head above the surface
long enough to make out what I need to do.
Yet I roam ceaselessly and away from that place
of ungainly truths, of betrayals and facades
as I no longer desire their love.
Theirs is a false affection,
masked in pretense and expectation,
both of which I have no desire to fulfill.
I am wandering again through the alleys at night,
bright eyes watch my every step,
waiting to proposition me at their precise moment.
I crave the high that awaits at my destination,
a momentary bout of inspiration from someone
I’ve known during the last century,
someone whose hands will lead me away from the light
and into the familiar darkness again.

Avarice

So you’re thinking about taking your own life huh? That’s funny. And ironic. Most especially for you. The most selfish human being I’ve ever had the displeasure of knowing. You with your phantom grandeur, your seedy notions of wealth. Your blatant hypocrisy still catches me unawares until I realize the depth of it, of how utterly disillusioned you are. This underdeveloped hubris you keep, it’s taking you further down the hole you’ve dug for yourself. You’ve maimed those who loved you, tossed them to the curb and spat in their face. Then you approached your god and asked to be elevated to the highest ranks of society. Without an ounce of accountability, guilt or remorse. Your disrespect of the universal laws of decency astound me. It disgusts me, it repulses me. But it doesn’t quite stop there, does it?

You’ve failed at this stage in your life. Everything has crumbled before your eyes. Yet by the goodness of humanity, a bone is thrown your way. Still you refuse to see what’s happening to you. You would rather kill yourself than look at yourself for what you’ve become. That’s not desperation, not by a long shot. That’s cowardice. You’re a coward.

Aflame

I wonder if he remembers my face
as I’m pulled into the building of his current life
on a stretcher, my left leg bleeding openly
a superficial wound borne out of carelessness
in this foreign land I now call home.

Those flames licked the brick walls of its chimney
so eager to fly high into the cold evening
as I heard my friends laugh away the hours
and he sat there refusing to meet me halfway
but I saw fire burning inside that mountain.

Years have passed where we last glanced at each other
where we kissed as the sun rose above the clouds
before I sailed across the sea to another home
only remembering his face in passing conversation
although the memory distorts itself with time and space.

I stare at the ceiling wondering what I’ll do
before he comes into the room and looks at me
nothing registers between us until night draws in
and we open our eyes from our dark corners
and meet again for a cold winter’s love.