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Literature
crystal bloodline
Under a crescent autumn moon, this city turned to liquid gemstone,
a brilliant kaleidoscope on the sandpiper pond's surface,
reflecting ripples of fire-truck red and denim blue, lime green,
mermaid water dreams, as we waded through the mud and moss
in the direction of our respective homes on the other side of the Jewish cemetery.
Yes, we were marching back through the late November slush,
like dishonored soldiers; with shoulders hunched, our limbs weighed down by
wet clothes and imaginary armor, after we had barely made it out alive, after
a failed quest for answers in a dryad queen's hazy smoke-and-mirrors court.
Boy, you trudged beside me in your hunter's garb, through the gunk;
your face set in a cool and neutral expression, despite
the uncomfortable and confusing situation that we'd just left behind
in another realm, blanketed by a fog of secrecy so thick, that its very existence
appeared invisible to all of the normal wandering souls of Manhattan,
to their oblivious and pleasure-s
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Literature
your moon shadow
It was strange how it happened, how you left this world;
at dusk perhaps, not at dawn, though how can I be sure,
when the only one there to witness the dulling copper light in your wide ebony eyes;
the only one to hear the sound of your last breath, wheezing as it left your throat
was the very person who stuck that hunter's blade in your neck, who just happened
to hit the right artery and ended your short time on this savage earth?
Oh friend, how can I possibly be certain of your time of death now,
if your father ever asks me that, if we ever speak again;
and truth told, considering all of the bittersweet thistle regret
that I am already swallowing down, in the wake of your departure,
friend, I guess I'm glad that I'll never really know the answer.
Oh friend, there are so many things that I wish I could take back,
you have no clue; all those icy glares that I threw in your direction
during our journey here, all those mercilessly cruel accusations,
all the viper-venom on my tongue, ever
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Literature
birdsong on a battlefield
On my first night here, the amber candlelight flickered invitingly
over the village, and I was transfixed by the sight;
like a dream-like setting, a place where all forms of possibility
rise, like chimney smoke into the mulberry ripe air.
Oh but as I had predicted, you were not as impressed as I was by this
because you had seen this view, a hundred; maybe even a thousand times before,
I'm sure; in your tragically young and strong-willed,
noble-hearted, and yet, still stubborn-minded lifetime.
However, I was new here, having just stepped off of the dusty age-beaten dirt road
bordering the “lake of invisible mermaids and great green monsters”,
as the villagers called it in those days;
just me in my worn sand-colored trousers and a linen shirt that was
dyed a forget-me-not blue by my mother,
with a knapsack slung over one shoulder,
and an ever-hopeful and curious gleam in my Welsh-hills gray-green eyes.
Oh boy, I bet that when you saw me, the first time,
you laughed inwardly,
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Harbor Lights by autumn-spirit Harbor Lights :iconautumn-spirit:autumn-spirit 9 1
Literature
God save our young blood
You were waiting at the bus stop, with starfish clips in your hair;
with ear-buds tucked in your ears, through which
Sunset Boulevard melodies streamed into your memory,
but you weren't as broken as you appeared to be..
Oh no, my faithful Bliss, I hate to break it to you,
but you don't look nearly as invisible and inconsequential as you feel inside;
and who am I to say so, to know better, you ask.
Well, I'm just a guy who's been around, peering over the ivy and red-brick wall
that you've built up around your ego, your swift live-fast-die-young reputation;
a penchant for trouble, excitement and dancing heartbeats.
Girl, you never saw me coming, and granted; I didn't know you, either,
but I was still there, I can assure you; on the margins of your memory,
your day-to-day schedule, like a blurry Monet landscape.
I had only heard of you in passing, at parties on the beach,
after-midnight bonfires; all crackling wood-chips and sea-salt,
the taste of caramel and root beer on my lips, the tas
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Literature
blue-skinned boys
I tried to find you in our old neighborhood, only traces, boy;
snapshots, flashes of your know-it-all grin
reflected on the surface of turquoise pool water,
in the alleyways, pushed up against the cracked walls.
I remember feeling resistance in the shadowy
rain-streaked outline of your arms,
hearing familiar whispers of “I can't”
in the sugar-palm and sea-brine breeze,
but it was nothing too crazy, I promise;
nothing too queer and hinting at obsession and regret,
unfinished business, a roller-coaster of emotion
more thrilling than any amusement park ride that ever
ran in circles, upside-down and around;
butterflies-in-your-stomach, last-glance ruin.
And we left so many things unsaid, back when we were
two blue-skinned boys, learning how to swim in the ocean;
with its merciless waves tugging at our skinny little limbs,
threatening to pull us under, take us far far away
from the not-so-warm, yet, still familiar comforts of home..
Or should I say “home-base”?
It's
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Literature
Lorraine
I pulled you out of the river, girl, as if you were a swan maiden;
shot down by some cruel and greedy archer, hiding between the juniper shades,
the tip of an arrow pointed directly at your elegant and curved, long, neck;
the beat of your Scotch Mist wings, the gentle fluttering of a near-death experience,
only solidifying his cold-hearted intent.
Oh I watched you fall, but I couldn't stomach the sight of your rapidly drowning form;
now completely human, now completely mortal and feminine,
so lackluster, as all of the natural color drained from
your cheekbones, your lace-trim jaw-line and tulip mouth;
as your breath caught in your throat, eliciting only a handful of stuttering gasps,
desperately clinging to the fragile spring life-lines,
the thinning threads of a sinking star-ship, a silver-gold youth..
Flightless bird, I could not live with myself if I were to ignore your gargled screams;
the frantic splashing sounds of medusa-haired water,
all threatening and envy green-colored fear
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Literature
letters to the sky
One Monday morning, before the dawn's sunflower light casts its shadow
over my clay-toned features, I wake up to a curtain of silver rain,
falling gracefully outside my window; and your ghost is there,
materialized, floating; see-through, over the balcony.
But the strangest thing about your sudden appearance is actually
your wings, so iconic for a non-haloed being, dove-white and ever so bold,
taking up space and announcing your arrival
as always a heaven-sent; goddamn half-bird-half-human, star-skinned child.
Yet now, they are nowhere in sight; your wings, that is, boy;
I can't help but notice right away how they are suddenly missing.
And sitting up in my large bed, I feel the cold and empty spaces around me,
as I watch your phantom press a hand against the glass bordering my bedroom.
I find my lips forming the forbidden shape of your name, but no sound comes out.
And before I can gather up the courage to call out to your impossibly
shimmering silhouette, you are already gone, vanishi
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country breakfast by autumn-spirit country breakfast :iconautumn-spirit:autumn-spirit 5 2 French Toast a la Sharon by autumn-spirit French Toast a la Sharon :iconautumn-spirit:autumn-spirit 8 3
Literature
Alyssium
I had your name in my head, before I even knew you..
I swear I'd heard it in some strange deja vu moment, a 12 o'clock fantasy;
all sleepy-eyed, pajama-clad legs, crazy-socked feet and
a tangled mess of honey-brown hair draped down my back,
winter night ice-toned fingers rubbing sawdust from my lavender and sunflower lids.
With my stomach growling, almost subtly; perhaps that was me,
when I first stopped to listen to the rain streaming gently
from the chalk-white heavens, outside that unfamiliar apartment;
as I wondered whether I had been there before,
many years ago, in that slippery-glass hallway.
But maybe, you weren't there at all, darling..
Oh maybe it was really just the dream of somebody like you; understanding and calm,
nonjudgmental and oh-so interested in what I had to say,
in listening to all of my favorite songs,
reading all the scraps of homespun poetry that came out of my head; my heart,
too fast and never making it to the publisher's office in time
for his or her morning
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Literature
Leon
Oh some people might call me crazy, confused, still; shameless and lost,
a golden sunrise broken child with not so much as an ounce of common sense,
leaving behind bread crumbs; tracks everywhere,
all the way up from the navy-blue and scarlet East Coast,
down south, back to his moss-and-ivy green hometown of Metairie, Louisiana.
Some folks might even claim that I got what I deserved,
that it's only a matter of time before I burn up; from the inside out, and
turn this godless, yet, still scorching bronze soul of mine
black with the very fire that made my renaissance-heart beat so fiercely before.
Oh yes, but tell me; even if that's true, dear Leon,
would you still come looking for me then, between the faithful bride-white
magnolia trees, through the cotton fields and peach groves,
if you knew that I was still here waiting, shamelessly, would you come meet me?
Oh I could never say no to you, Leon; that's the god-honest truth..
And coming from a cellophane sinner like me, you'd better bel
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Literature
Druid blood and flower crowns
Your sea-glass eyes peek out from beneath fern fronds and ice-pine saplings,
always careful, always watchful; collected in the way
they follow passersby on the road, patiently waiting for the right moment,
for the right target to appear; perhaps on horseback,
or on the soles of dirt-encrusted boots.
You've changed so much, girl, in such a short amount of time.
Like a serpent, you live in hiding now,
slithering around the borderlands of a place you once called “Paradise on Earth”.
Oh how strange it is to think about the times when
you used to dance in the courtyard of your family's summer-house,
a perfect Elizabethan cottage; all ivy and tea-roses,
emerald maze-gardens and wild rabbits
hiding in mulberry hedges, behind marble bird-baths.
“That was another life, entirely..”
Girl, your voice carries a note of regret, and yet,
the rest of your emotions are overpowered by sharp and heavy doses of pent-up rage
and fiery scorn; bitter pain, the inability to trust,
susp
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Literature
of blood-root and naivete
All I remember from that ink-splattered blue-black night;
before I took my last sip of mulberry wine from the bottle
hidden snugly inside your hunter's pouch
and we kissed until we fell asleep, is how
the sky was tainted with fire and lightning;
remnants of a war that went by, too quickly
to be completely erased, to be trusted as genuine relief,
to be comforting in any way, shape or form.
And all I remember is that you were searching for hope,
boy, your eyes searching for a light
through the gloomy wall of trees surrounding us; and
I was just trying not to think too much about anything,
to just live in the moment, listening to the sounds of
nocturnal creatures lurking around;
all disquiet and anxious, buzzing with electricity,
with strange radioactive energy, just like us.
The owls and coyotes; insects and god-knows-what else, were
making more noise than usual, and unexpectedly,
you held my hand because you thought I was scared.
But the truth is that I was just tired of
putting on a br
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Literature
missed the exit
Maybe I shouldn't have stayed as long as I had
in that tiny little town near Mohican Hills, Ohio.
Maybe I shouldn't have gotten on a bus, after outstaying my welcome
in the Midwest and headed for your city of origin;
your home in the clouds, high up in the Catskill mountains,
surrounded by fog and evergreen pollen, haunted
by blackbird calls and the distant mechanical churning of wheels,
of train engines and newsboy shouts.
Perhaps I should have been braver, more resourceful and less vulnerable,
picking up my few belongings and walking out
into the chilly and unpredictable iced cherry air.
I told myself that I only needed one night to realize where we stood
and what we meant to each other, assuming that the end was near,
assuming that I had nothing left to lose but the memory of your smile;
crooked, due to the cigarette tucked between your marzipan-dusted lips.
And perhaps, I was just a foolish girl who lost her footing,
who trusted a stranger; a self-proclaimed drifter, city-slick sin
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Literature
Calliope
We are pressed shoulder-to-shoulder, in this makeshift lean-to;
built with poles and branches from old dead woodpecker havens,
hummingbird twigs and scraps of dream-cloth, tarp and aluminum from an old rocket,
fired off from an unknown faraway kingdom; into this great navy expanse of night,
and missing the stars, landing here, of all damn places, where we are; you and I,
lying side-by-side, in the middle of a castaway's hidden jungle.
Oh where the sky was once tattooed with little glittering jewels for your own amusement,
girl, it is now just sporting a terrifying gray-orange-red tint
as clouds of toxic gas engulf the sun; the early June half-moon,
and everything enchanting that ever smiled down on us from above.
And you don't know how much I wish I could wake you up with a different scene entirely..
Yes, I wish I could take you back to what was once our unassuming railroad town,
in our home-country of wheat and lavender fields; old cowboy saloons and
other square-shaped buildings, dre
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Favourites

Literature
rocks, flowers, dates.
we’ll grow to stone,
reaching up through
the garden, leaving
little placards of names,
dates, and deeds.
cultivate the narrative
with flowers, lilted
prose and pre-aged
marble faces. wonder
if we’ll be broken too,
one day.
:iconSycsta:Sycsta
:iconsycsta:Sycsta 5 0
Literature
water-bearer
I never knew yearning was a vice until
I wanted the Irminger sea to love me
But his tides could only rise and devour
He could only pluck the stars out of my hands and
Swallow my light in a gapping mouth.
I was always but a
Aureate wishbone
snap
ped
for all its promise
Only to yield dust and gilded bone fragments;
I chased after your godless eyes
Desired your aquarius lips, river-like soul
You were never going to stay
here
You said as much under the streetlights
You said as much when you kissed me,
(Why did you kiss me?)
With your hand at my back like a
knife brandished for the kill you
told me about the elegy in riverbanks and
The world's edge,
about how it never could hold you back.
I told you about cheap plane tickets to Germany
Aided you on your quest for escapsim in hopes that you would understand my
intentions
But you still asked
What i wanted from you and
Why i kept your sweater.
You always had your mind set on running
You have a way with pointedly avoiding the devil in the detai
:iconSurrealNacre:SurrealNacre
:iconsurrealnacre:SurrealNacre 2 2
Literature
As Night Turns To Day
I'm suspended in mid-air
everything is golden stillness
as I watch my parent's
'77 Lincoln Continental
pulling into my aunt's driveway
It's late September
and the 'colors' are out
in splendid array-
Russet, old gold, fire engine red,
orange, and old leather brown
Mid-morning traffic is light
on this rural Michigan two-lane blacktop
Dozens of leaves chase after passing cars
Rattling, chattering happily, always optimistic,
as if to say:
Almost caught that one! For sure next time!      
The sun takes his time
illumining distant vales
watching contentedly as mother deer bed down
with their young;
and listening to birds singing,
their chicks peeping and chirping,
resembling fuzzy egg yolks come to life        
The sun visits dooryards, homesteads
chicken coops and dairy barns-
he enters countless kitchens
softly brushing countertops,
watching coffee percolate on stovetops
Scores of elderly folks
some adorned with mantles of silver or white
pouring t
:iconBlacksand459:Blacksand459
:iconblacksand459:Blacksand459 8 7
Literature
Underwater, the city is a moon
Yes,
thank the oxidated bones
for creaking the obvious:
It´s not like
our drenched steps
our desperate drenched steps
and the flowing pavement
coming from the high city
towards our running faces
did not ascertain
that the city
has an adolescent face
beneath the unending weather.
:iconoviedomedina:oviedomedina
:iconoviedomedina:oviedomedina 5 2
Pol And Bruno by vim93im Pol And Bruno :iconvim93im:vim93im 6 1 A Silent Gesture by Lainpinky131 A Silent Gesture :iconlainpinky131:Lainpinky131 18 1 Suvi by FurtiveLungs Suvi :iconfurtivelungs:FurtiveLungs 3,170 676 Heat Up by Gumbat-Art
Mature content
Heat Up :icongumbat-art:Gumbat-Art 154 22
Under the Sea by MD-Arts Under the Sea :iconmd-arts:MD-Arts 161 4
Literature
Home Was
woodstove in the back garage
concrete floor cracked over time
snowdrifts waist-high
driving the tractor with a blade,
ready for battle
. . .
groundwork laid for dreams
aftershave and Sunday matinees
strength beyond reproach
heroism in black & white words,
from a time and place before me
pianos, beer gardens, waltzes, polkas
. . .
it couldn't have ended
because it was enough.
don't you see-
no      
. . .
living room dynasties
mid-morning game show
streamlined dialect of pitted chrome
orange juice, bacon and eggs over-easy.
kingdoms masquerading as lawns
deep grasses darkest emerald green-
they sigh, watching butterflies
listening to the boughs creak in the wind  
and the pond lies dark, quiet, peaceful, mysterious
like paths in the woods that seem to retain gentleness
. . .
trip into the neighboring town
for groceries
a dozen aisles redolent of fruits, spices,
the green smells in the coolers, their fans whirring loudly
hide & seek amid corners and bins
and then the
:iconBlacksand459:Blacksand459
:iconblacksand459:Blacksand459 11 4
Literature
wasteland, baby
a haunting. a new season. the end of a cigarette, the soft bit of your elbow
a new colour. a better shade of burgundy. falling in love with strangers in the subway,
dancing in the dark, laughing too hard in chemistry class, reading second hand books
and the person who owned the book first has outlined their favourite quote with a highlighter
or scribbled in the margins. that weird feeling
of being young and feeling out of place, countryside distilling in your throat,
a raven on a telephone line. girls who cut their hair by themselves
houses full of ghosts. a feeling you don’t have a name for. a loneliness that’s soft.
the aftermath of a hickey. the quietness of a ghost town. the loudness of a fail grade.
the way the flowers grow, twisting. my past, my present, my future.
a dream that’s blown out of glass. a dream that’s pressed into pages of your favourite book.
growing up like willow trees. carrying the weight of cemeteries.
this chai is warm but winter&
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:iconpansydiv:pansydiv 49 13
Literature
Arc des Lydes
hot July beach
while life is FUBAR
concrete breaks
weeds tall
days after
power is smiling knives
of saboteurs
decanted vintage lies
dinner with those
who love death in their relationships
missionary to the American citadel
found drowned in a fountain
money is the name of god in
the mouths of capitalists
strolls stroking the Sheiks
diamonds flung into fluted voices
violet strains while she weeps for lost hope
dynamite the masters dynastic strides
walking down
the polished ballroom floors
while debutante gems are bought and sold
swallow alongside the highway
in the dollar drop
long black birthday bar-
twenty drugstore warriors
singing Auld Lang Syne
....because
.....Jimmy
......Stewart
.......is
........dead and gone
tell me, I ask the carbine widow in black,
where is DiMaggio?
and
Durante, Cagney, Eisenhower, Armstrong, Luther, Ozma...
my answer is the setting sun.
:iconBlacksand459:Blacksand459
:iconblacksand459:Blacksand459 3 0
Malec Shopping by Viviavalon Malec Shopping :iconviviavalon:Viviavalon 4 1
Literature
A Little Late for a Weather Warning
Run.
Run, now.
Sand pours out from that catastrophic cranium of yours. Or, should I say, pours in.
It puddles in your arms, your legs.
Pools in your stomach.
I see the way it flings out of that sandstorm brain and floods through your whole body.
Lungs; sand-filled.
A smile of grit,
Eyes that always sting.
Windblown and wasted on a cliffside overlooking a sea of never making any decent fucking choices.
Maybe being filled with sand isn’t so bad- but darling
That skin is ablaze.
There’s a wildfire in your blood, in your bones. You’re burning with it, it’s burning with you, it all hurts so much and you’re fucking sizzling with it.
It’s been years of you and that sandstorm-brain, those lava-bones and now
You’re made of glass.
So again, I say run.
With that heavy, heavy body. So fragile. Weak. Brittle. Worthless.
I fucking dare you;
Run.
Try taking shelter from a godforsaken sandstorm when it lives and breath
:iconx-tired-of-living-x:x-tired-of-living-x
:iconx-tired-of-living-x:x-tired-of-living-x 5 2
Literature
Untitled
I would capture your likeness
in quick bold strokes,
and subtle, nuanced detail,
if only I trusted my hands.
I would write you into the ages:
a figure in verse more prosaic
than any that went before,
if only I trusted my pen.
I would sing you a song made of melody,
resounding a beautiful echo,
but I have no instrument here,
my voice is as cracked as bad clay.
:iconBaronAutumn:BaronAutumn
:iconbaronautumn:BaronAutumn 5 3
Victor Vale by NanFe Victor Vale :iconnanfe:NanFe 543 7

Activity


Under a crescent autumn moon, this city turned to liquid gemstone,
a brilliant kaleidoscope on the sandpiper pond's surface,
reflecting ripples of fire-truck red and denim blue, lime green,
mermaid water dreams, as we waded through the mud and moss
in the direction of our respective homes on the other side of the Jewish cemetery.
Yes, we were marching back through the late November slush,
like dishonored soldiers; with shoulders hunched, our limbs weighed down by
wet clothes and imaginary armor, after we had barely made it out alive, after
a failed quest for answers in a dryad queen's hazy smoke-and-mirrors court.

Boy, you trudged beside me in your hunter's garb, through the gunk;
your face set in a cool and neutral expression, despite
the uncomfortable and confusing situation that we'd just left behind
in another realm, blanketed by a fog of secrecy so thick, that its very existence
appeared invisible to all of the normal wandering souls of Manhattan,
to their oblivious and pleasure-seeking eyes.
I was avoiding having to look at you for too long,  
having to face the pain that I was surely causing more than one person in my life,
in the wake of these stomach-churning, devil-may-care events;
but still, I couldn't help noticing as I fell behind and your sister led the way,
how graceful and impenetrable you both looked;
your fair-skinned features highlighted by the moon's glow, seemingly unperturbed
by the unfair cruelness of this world.
Yeah, boy; you were even laughing at one of your sister's jokes, chuckling quietly,
making me wonder if I was the only one carrying
this heavy weight of emotions that I didn't know what to do with, at the moment,
making things harder on myself;
when obviously, you weren't as affected by our forbidden actions as I was,
by this strange and unspoken wildfire spark between us.

Earlier that evening, when we reached the center of the pool;
directly underneath the moon's silver-gold watch,
your sister turned to glance over her shoulder at us, her high-low lace dress
making her look like a swan-princess in a Russian ballet;
all feathery ink-tinted hair, shimmer and gloss, perfectly masked pain.
Your sister murmured, “Finally!”
Uttering a sigh, she vanished; and our silhouettes soon followed, friend..
There was no wind, no fluttering of celestial-carved wings,
no magic mist; no, only silence
and black-blue darkness cloaking our near-transparent shadows as we glided
through that phantom portal.

When we came out on the other side, even though our surroundings were all mundane;
not even a little extraordinary in the least,
we were still relieved for having survived a fairy-tale more twisted
than we ever could have imagined with our fragile brains,
conjured up with poisonous vines snaking around columns of ancient Greek stone,
giving the impression of beautifully concealed imprisonment;
a setting more nightmarish than enchanting,
where games of Blind Man's Bluff and other Turn of the Century
past-times; seahorse Victorian art were made deadly.
And a part of my mind goes blank, losing track of a few seconds' time,
right after our arrival in the fey-queen's court;
friend, all I can recall now are the dancing sprites, all scantily clad
in torn petal-like fabric, with dewdrops glistening on pearl and opaque flesh,
their movements slow and sensuous as some
hypnotically sweet-and-sour Pop beat played in the background.
Boy, I must've taken a step towards them,
I must've fallen under their spell because the next thing I knew, your hand was
suddenly on my shoulder and you were yanking me back,
pulling me against your side, your voice
cutting through the confusion clouding my mind.
You hissed in my ear, boy,
“Didn't I tell you not to look until we reached the throne-room?
If you dance with them; with those lovely and devious creatures,
girl, you'll be dancing until your feet literally fall off!
You'll collapse from fatigue and aching bones, your toes bleeding
from the cuts of pebbles hidden in the pavement,
the sores that will cripple your body and render you speechless,
while your little admirers laugh in pure amusement.”
Boy, I remember blinking my eyes fiercely, finally
seeing through the mesmerizing fog surrounding us,
finally being able to identify the fey children for what they were;
tricksters, far from innocent, despite their delicate features.
Boy, because of you, I could see through the mist of otherworldly lust;
the illusion of carefree fun, as you rapidly scrawled a mark on my arm
with a pen-knife, forcing me to look back at the mystical party-scene
with fresh new eyes and be appalled by the sight of twirling skeletal-like forms.
Indeed; now, the once pretty faces beckoning to me were ashen-gray and ghoulish,
with tiny horns protruding from their foreheads,
sunken pupil-less eyes; with long limbs made of twig for arms,
dried leaves for hands and fingers, hawk-like talons at the sharpened tips.

Oh no, with this new sight, I could see that the dancers were
now stripped of their glamour; of their rabbit and fox Easter
hoods and masks, their threads of gauzy floral sleeves, those
elegant garments now displaying gaping holes in their rib-cages,
adorned with festive Christmas red and green ribbons, their mouths
echoing those same dead nursery-rhymes as before, humming encouragements,
still planning on luring me closer to my gory and unbelievably torturous death.

I shivered by your side, boy, felt as you brushed your arm against mine,
but when you asked me if I was cold, I lied like a dope because
I was already too embarrassed by my lapse in judgment to admit the truth,
admit that I was grateful for your presence there, for your protection,
even when it was masked by your trademark arrogance and sarcasm.
But you wouldn't be walking beside me, if you didn't truly care.
Of course, I knew that, but I also told myself enough, over the past few months,
that you only regarded me in the most casual sense;
as a new recruit in the half-angel-half-human army that you were born into,
a commodity, a responsibility, like your best friend's little sister
or some such absurdity, nothing more.
Oh you didn't think of me at all in the same way that
I was guilty of thinking about you, boy, I was sure; when I was all alone
in my room, lying in bed and imagining your stupid grin
as I stared up at the ceiling and wished so hard that you would be the one
calling my cell phone instead of the boy that I had known all my life,
the sweet and awkward one who was my childhood friend and who I had promised
to love in a way that I could not fully commit to.

It didn't seem fair that after everything that had happened recently,
this would be the one thing that would tear me up inside
and knock me off my feet, fill me with such shame and
disgust for myself, that I would want to drown or disappear; that
I would wish out loud that you had never rescued me
from the freezing late October waters of the Atlantic coast,
that you had never woken me up or even kissed me.

And yet, that's what I said when we made it back home,
wading through the mud and slush, dripping pond scum
all over your mother's expensive carpet in the foyer.
Boy, you led me up to your room and insisted that
I borrow one of your shirts, as I was still shivering
in my drenched and wrinkled off-season clothes.
You insisted that I put on one of your cotton hand-me-downs
while you took a shower, and truth be told; I was
relieved when you turned and walked into the bathroom, when
you finally left me alone to collect my thoughts,
and I was more than glad that you couldn't see the rosy blush on my cheeks,
that you'd apparently missed the evidence of my embarrassment
on my hot and freckled flesh.
Sitting down on the edge of your bed, I pulled out my cell phone and tried
to call my best friend but when he didn't answer,
I was filled with so much guilt, that I couldn't bring myself to look up
when you opened the door of the bathroom,
letting bright yellow light and clouds of hot steam flow out into the air,
fill the white-washed space around me.

You asked me what I was doing, but I didn't respond,
so you padded across the floor in your bare feet and knelt down in front of me.
I sat, sullenly, twisting your t-shirt in my hands
as my heart hammered in my chest and a solitary tear rolled down the side of my face.
Oh God, I was so nervous about your reaction, you have no clue now, boy!
But still, I let you cup my face with both hands,
gently raising my chin, so that I was forced to meet your amber gaze.
I asked you, quietly, “What if he never forgives me?”
And even though you were frowning, your goldenrod eyes were still surprisingly soft
and your voice was devoid of cruelty and sarcasm, didn't hold
a shred of criticism when next you spoke.
You said, “Oh I don't know, but I don't think that that boy is
capable of holding a grudge against anyone, least of all you.”
And a moment later, you let out a hard laugh and continued,
“I know I've teased him before about acting
like a little lapdog, following you around,
and don't get me wrong; I still think that that kid is annoying as hell,
but even I have to admit that he is the most loyal person I've ever met.
Girl, the way he looks at you; I can tell
that he would rather die than shut you out completely.”

Boy, you held my gaze then and the smirk on your face suddenly melted away.
Your next words almost made me choke on a sob
but I forced myself not to cry anymore, to bite back on my self-pity,
swallow my shame and not embarrass myself any more than I already had.
You said, “He'll forgive you because the truth is
that he needs you, too; I can promise you that.”
Oh boy, I don't know how you caught onto that; to how much this age-long
friendship that I had so stupidly discarded, truly meant to me,
but I was both impressed by your apparent thoughtfulness
and disappointed at myself for my carelessness once again.
Even so, the only thing that I could think of to say in response was:
“Thank you.. I needed to hear that.”
In my head, I knew that I did not deserve it and you must've read my thoughts
because you hesitated, a moment,
before dropping your hands from my face and sliding them
through the tangled mess of red hair that hung, damp, over my right shoulder.
You leaned closer and I felt your warm fingers brush the nape of my neck,
then your mouth was on mine; your lips molding mine into
what felt like a brand new shape,
matching the urgent and not-so-gentle pressure of your kiss.
But I pulled back, a second later, shaking my head, stupidly.
“I can't..” I stammered. “We can't do this.”
I struggled to find the right words that made sense, and of course;
I damned my awkwardness, but I still murmured, honestly,
“You know that before, we didn't have a choice, but that doesn't mean-”
But you interrupted me, insisting, “But I want to and so do you!”

Oh boy, one of my hands was braced on the white-and-blue bedspread,
the other was clenched into a tight fist of anxiety in my lap,
as I pulled back and subtly untangled myself from you in a way that
sparked confusion in your gaze, that made me feel so cold and unworthy.
But still, I scooted off of the bed then
and insisted in a shaky tone, “No. No, I don't want this.”
And I heard you suck in a slow breath,
sounding as though you were struggling to remain calm,
for some weird reason, gathering enough patience to deal with me.
And you stood up and faced me with a leveled look,
stated in a controlled voice, “I don't believe that.”
But even so, as you took a step towards me, I quickly backed away,
pressing my spine against the bedroom door.
This made you stop and examine my face closely, boy,
so I tried to rearrange my features into something neutral,
the best expression of assertiveness that I could muster,
with something akin to confidence and as much honesty as
I could dig up out of the gritty depths of purple night-vale heart.
But truthfully, I couldn't bear to let anyone else down, including you,
and still, the flicker of hope that I saw in your eyes
made me feel even worse, made me sick to my stomach.
And I knew that I couldn't afford to screw this up,
even if it meant that I would never be able to feel your arms around me again;
that I would never have the pleasure of feeling your tan sandstone skin
burning underneath my cool-toned fingertips, knowing that
I was the subconscious flame that lit up your wild honey-colored eyes..

So I told you, right there and then, the last thing you wanted to hear;
that I thought that this thing between us was nothing but wicked and
sickening sin, that it made me hurt the ones I cared about most,
and so, it couldn't possibly do us any good to continue this way.
“And for what, in the end?” I challenged, though
judging by the ire in my voice that made you freeze on the spot,
I was probably shouting more at myself than at you;
I was probably causing more harm to my own moral code and conscience
than to any part that made you so goddamn stubborn.
But it was still unexpected; the venom in my words,
the resolute denial and hopelessness that I decided to embrace
rather than shy away from, when I told you,
“Nothing can come of this.”
And as my eyes filled with angry tears that I refused to shed,
so as not to expose even more of my weaknesses;
my utter selfishness,
I continued, tightly, “Boy, we can't be together, obviously,
so why are you determined to ruin everything that we have left?”
And I was expecting your temper to flare up again, uncontrollably,
to cause you to shout back and perhaps even push me out of your room then,
but to my surprise; after a long pause,
all you did was stare me blankly and repeat a single word: “sickening”..

You didn't speak again for a long time;
so long, that the rapid pounding of my heart in my ears was
starting to make me nervous as I stood,
waiting for your reaction, with my back pressed to the door.
Finally, you took a deep breath and rubbed a hand roughly over your face,
as though you were just now waking up, wiping sleep from your dazed eyelids.
And you gave me a look that; for the life of me, boym I couldn't interpret.
You asked me, “Sickening? Is that what you honestly think this is?”
Oh I hated myself for nodding in response, I swear; you have to believe me!
But I did, then turned around, without looking back,
without meeting your scorching amber gaze.

I wrenched open the door, ran out into the hallway,
and dashed into the nearest empty guest-room.
There, I stripped off my damp clothes,
still feeling my skin flushed and my pulse racing.
I crawled into the unfamiliar and neatly made bed,
even knowing that I wouldn't be able to fall asleep
for a very long while, as expected.
Still, though, I lay there; staring up at the ceiling,
envisioning your lion-like golden eyes in the shadows,
swallowing me up, wiping my mind blank and erasing all of my memories,
so that there would be nothing left to remember
but a moment as pure and fragile as a snowflake held in my cupped hands.
Oh I wanted to relive that moment when we were
so unbearably close, that I felt like I would literally stop breathing
if you didn't make a move, boy, decide our fates
as either sinners or lost saints; when
your fingers brushed against the hot freckled skin of my cheekbones,
when you whispered that you wanted to be with me
in whatever way was both humanly and inhumanly
possible for two people with a shared bloodline.

Oh as ridiculous as this sounds now, can you believe that
in that intoxicating moment; all head-rush desire, merciless, tainted sin
and a strange heavy loneliness just sitting there inside
both of our rocking-horse rib-cages; with the scent of soap,
rain and lavender filling our lungs,
making our heads spin and our throats tighten with unforgettable want,
can you believe, boy, that I almost gave in and let you take me under?

Oh can you believe that I wished so badly that I could
take some white angel dye, my favorite amateur brush,
and blot out everything else in this urban jungle landscape but you and I?
Yes, believe it or not; you're just as stubborn as I am, boy,
perhaps even more, though the rumored family resemblance isn't there at all,
but please hear me out; how I wanted to secretly forget all
of these soap-box secrets, make it so that they never even existed in our world.
And oh, how I wanted to paint over these lines of disagreement;
the accusations and even all of the evidence of holy things broken,
just map out an ending where you find me at the gates of the cemetery
near Central Park and we start again..
Oh if we could only start over fresh, with gardenia perfume and crisp blank sketch-pads;
with afternoon rain and sun rays in both of our hair and eyes,
making us look like young gods, ethereal and unshakable, even though;
inside, we simply feel normal and content to be alive, for a change.

Oh boy, I wish I had the power to alter everything;
all these sickening, dizzying plot-twists that nobody ever asked for,
least of all us; but as it is, we were both caught in the crossfire of some ancient war, unspeakable and harrowing, so the best I can do is
try not to cause any more irreparable damage, boy.
Yes, the best I can do is slowly disengage,
step away and allow you to heal from the backstabbing selfishness that
my weakness caused you to suffer,
the thorns that I didn't realize I had blossoming
from my poppy red lips and scabbed fingertips, pricking all of the sensitive muscles
that your pride failed to cover up,
to hide from a green-eyed serpent like me.
Not wanting to cause any more damage and not knowing if I would ever be redeemed,
I was still so sorry that I led you on this
wild goose-chase, so tragically blind-sided;
I'm so sorry that I didn't cut you loose when I should have, friend;
when I had the chance, when there was still time
for you to lose sight of me in the fog and mist of a forbidden fairy-land;
an ethereal yet gated place where many people were
known to lose their hearts and minds, to vanish completely, without
any trace of snowy phantom footprints or the assistance of breadcrumbs,
red strings tied to branches, leading back to something close to normalcy,
to simplicity and homegrown warmth.
But most shameful of all these things that I now need to confess is
the tragic fact that I fell in love that night,
when you asked me to lie and put you out of your misery;
when I ended up crushing both of our hopes in my palm,
as though they were late-blooming morning-glories, and
it doesn't really matter if I had any good intentions or not in the end.
No, it doesn't matter now if my heart was ever in the right place;
(oh it was never in the right place), and that's why I pulled away
to avoid being the cause of another catastrophe in your life, boy.

I'm sure you'll thank me later in the future;
when you're sitting up high above this semi-precious city
like a king on your throne of crystal and quartz,
so shamelessly aware of everything around you, of how the sunlight
sparkles in the Tree of Life veins  in your wrists,
of all of the people that still need saving, all of the battles
that you'll never stop fighting, the orphan children
that you'll never get tired of protecting.
Oh you'll thank me for not demanding your attention,
even though it must feel like hypocrisy, that I left you hanging.
But I didn't, I swear; for if I had, then
this decision wouldn't hurt so much, wouldn't feel like
suicide in its goriest and cruelest form,
slicing open my flesh, carving out the one thing that I need most
to live freely, without regret, ripping it right out of my chest,
without any regard for the shell of a person still standing.

Oh my proud Leo, you might never forgive me,
but I can live with that and not with the loss of you entirely,
so believe me; I'm sorry I fell in love when
I wasn't even planning to meet you outside of a midnight bar in an alleyway
somewhere in grimy downtown, when I didn't mean to speak to you at all,
as you leaned against a graffiti-stained brick wall and murmured my name.
Oh I'm sorry I fell in love, when i should have been more concerned with
sparing you the pain of all this, but i want you to know that you are not
a stone in my shoe, a heavy weight that befalls me, every time
I try to raise my head, no, boy; you are more like the winter sun,
breaking through the ceiling of frozen crystal lake above my head;
blinding, but at the same time, lifesaving.
It was strange how it happened, how you left this world;
at dusk perhaps, not at dawn, though how can I be sure,
when the only one there to witness the dulling copper light in your wide ebony eyes;
the only one to hear the sound of your last breath, wheezing as it left your throat
was the very person who stuck that hunter's blade in your neck, who just happened
to hit the right artery and ended your short time on this savage earth?
Oh friend, how can I possibly be certain of your time of death now,
if your father ever asks me that, if we ever speak again;
and truth told, considering all of the bittersweet thistle regret
that I am already swallowing down, in the wake of your departure,
friend, I guess I'm glad that I'll never really know the answer.

Oh friend, there are so many things that I wish I could take back,
you have no clue; all those icy glares that I threw in your direction
during our journey here, all those mercilessly cruel accusations,
all the viper-venom on my tongue, every time I lashed out
in response to your well-meaning advice, your heartfelt questions
about my well-being and my future plans.
All of the blame that you shouldered, unnecessarily, tell me;
do you think it's fair that I never even asked you directly
why you did it, in the first place, and now, it doesn't matter
because I just assumed that you'd betrayed me, when you hadn't..
No, you were actually sheltering me from the awful truth;
the fact that my own parent was the one guilty of treason,
my mother was the one who told all of my father's secrets
and shared private information with an untrustworthy neighbor,
who got him arrested and taken from me forever.
Oh boy, you hid that from me, allowed me to hate you instead.
And now, what good does it do, when all I have left is the ghost of your warmth;
the memory of your hand in mine, the last time we embraced,
beneath a heavy cloak of lavender-tinted dusk?

I'd like to say that it's all said and done;
that nothing else matters now, but I know that's not true,
especially not when I'm stumbling towards your unmarked grave in the woods
with the purpose of leaving flowers that will
inevitably be washed away by the rain or covered in dust;
and even so, I know this to be true, friend,
that I am grateful for the last real moments that we shared.
Yeah, at least we made up; we reconciled when you told me what really happened
back in our floating home in the Milky Way.
At least I got to say that I was sorry for being so hostile,
for being such a stubborn fool, all this time;
and at least you forgave my ignorance and pent-up misdirected rage,
and you hugged me close, in the end.
“What are friends for?” you asked, with a casual smile on your lips,
as if your sacrifice was no big deal at all.
And what am I supposed to do now with that knowledge;
that fateful recollection, friend?
Am I just supposed to supposed to hold this secret close to my leather-bound heart
or bury it beside you in a coffin the ground,
instead of some stupid, wilting bouquet?

Okay, if that's what you want, then, I can do that for you, friend.
I just hope that wherever it is that you are now,
wherever your spirit has flown off to; like a red-tailed cardinal,
I hope that your new liberated form has somehow
memorized my face and follows my every step with a guiding-light watchful stare,
as I leave the place where you fell,
the mountain range where our spaceship crashed;
where we shed innocent blood for the first time,
being forced to make difficult decisions in order to survive,
by whatever means necessary; with warrior-scarred brains
animal-tough skins and eternally naive but still fractured teenage hearts.

Believe me, I still find it astounding how you never gave up on me, friend!
It wasn't too long ago that we were standing; shoulder-to-shoulder
outside our camp at nightfall, surrounded by shadowy tree shapes
and Persian blue velvet darkness, listening to the soothing music
of crickets and cicadas safely tucked away in their oak and maple homes,
hidden by the beautiful, yet, fragile illusion of a perfect storm.
Friend, we were pointing a mini telescope at the snow-faced moon above.
We had found it in one of the supply bags that
had been sent down on the drop-ship with us;
and you told me that it was a case of tongue-and-cheek irony, boy.
You said, “They want us to see what we've lost;
what we were forced to leave behind, what we can never again call
our home-sweet-home among the silver-cream stars.”
And I nodded in agreement; smiling grimly,
I took the telescope from your hands and peered through the lens
at the glimmering Milky Way above.
Boy, I remember how you whispered your next words,
as though you were reluctant to break some kind of spell.
And it was odd how you were suddenly shy, as you stood beside me and said,
“See how the moon is waxing now?
It's taking on a brand new shape, right before our eyes!”
But I squinted through the telescope lens and murmured, skeptically,
“Or at least, that's how it looks from here.”
And of course; friend, you shook your head, smiling a bemused grin.
You criticized me silently in that moment,
taking into account my hesitation to savor
even the simplest of natural beauties, without worrying.
I could tell that you were honestly and
secretly disappointed because you knew me so well.
But after a beat of silence, you continued, nonchalantly,
“Did you know that when the moon looks like that,
it's actually called the Waxing Gibbous?
In Greek, that means 'humpbacked'.”
And, boy, when next we shared a glance then,
we also shared a genuine chuckle at that.
We stood side-by-side, shoulder-to-shoulder,
watching the June night sky; that vast black-blue firmament
made of velvet dreams, embedded with little glimmering lime-green diamonds,
as it changed ever so slightly; minutely,
before our still wide and naive, fresh water-lily eyes.

Friend, there were so many things that you never wanted me to know about,
memories stretching as far back as our caged-in-technology,
space-track childhoods; when we met in the library,
where you stared at a particular relic in a glass case,
mulling over the ancient text, when you dared to sneak it out, undetected.
And I remember being a stupidly optimistic doctor's apprentice then,
being guided by my mother's hand and watching as your 8-year old self
come to visit your own mom in the medical ward,
read her stories from the classics that you had supposedly “bothered”.
We were there for different reasons, of course; my mother was a healer,
and yours was suffering quietly through a chronic illness.
Yes, friend, we all have our secrets; beginning with how we were so close,
and yet, you never told me that all along, you were trading your own books
and toys to get charcoal pencils and brushes for me to draw with.
Yeah, we were inseparable until that horrible day
when my father was arrested and quite literally thrown overboard,
left to float in the great black expanse of celestial sea that surrounded our home.
He was ripped from my arms and there will never be enough words
to describe all that I wanted to, in that moment;
our final farewell, not enough time as I sobbed uncontrollably
into my mother's shoulder, in the unflinching embrace
of the one who, as it turned out, was the real Judas among us.

Oh I wish someone could tell me how I'm supposed to live with myself now,
when every time I look at the polar arctic sky above,
I see your evening-star glimmering, subtly,
reminding me of your patient smile and kind teak and ash-colored eyes..
But I guess life should be about more than just surviving one day at a time, right?
I guess, friend, that after everything we've been through,
this is how I can hold your memory close, honor it and never let it fade away;
I can make your sacrifice mean more than just the gentle, simple act of wiping a brush
over my guilt, giving me a clean slate on which to sketch
a new possible ending for our comic-long story.
Friend, I want to do so much more with the second chance that you gifted me, I swear;
I want you to know that I won't throw away the faith that you had in me,
even if I don't understand it or truly believe that I deserve it,
still, I can make it count for something spectacular here and now.
Friend, you were the best of us; selfless till the end;
you did not mirror your father's mistakes, did not try to justify destroying families,
throwing lives away because of some man-made law on a flying rocket.
No, storm-watcher, you chose to give up your own freedom
to make sure that I was never alone, so the least I can do is honor your memory
by trying to do better, this time around, being the person
that you loved, unconditionally, that you dubbed magnanimous.

Even when I find it hard to have faith in myself, I can remember how you never
doubted our connection, that we would eventually find our way back to one another.
And you were right, no matter how it ended; we will remained friends
through those last long hours of uncertainty; of violet darkness and toxic rain.
So, I guess I can try to find paradise still, my silent nighttime companion;
whether you're really here or not, listening to my confessions
inside a cathedral of oak and aspen trees, I'll pretend that you are still
whispering encouragements in my ear; that you're still holding my hand and
offering support and quiet strength, whenever I am the most afraid.
Oh sky-artist, you can fly around up there, above the mountains and treetops,
the jagged cliff-sides where some of our youth fell and lost consciousness;
and I can look for your constellation trail tonight before going to sleep.
Yes, after everything that tried to break us but failed, I can still keep
what you taught me sacred, sketch a promise-land beneath your floating lantern glow,
your faithful moon shadow; friend, I can do that for you..
On my first night here, the amber candlelight flickered invitingly
over the village, and I was transfixed by the sight;
like a dream-like setting, a place where all forms of possibility
rise, like chimney smoke into the mulberry ripe air.
Oh but as I had predicted, you were not as impressed as I was by this
because you had seen this view, a hundred; maybe even a thousand times before,
I'm sure; in your tragically young and strong-willed,
noble-hearted, and yet, still stubborn-minded lifetime.
However, I was new here, having just stepped off of the dusty age-beaten dirt road
bordering the “lake of invisible mermaids and great green monsters”,
as the villagers called it in those days;
just me in my worn sand-colored trousers and a linen shirt that was
dyed a forget-me-not blue by my mother,
with a knapsack slung over one shoulder,
and an ever-hopeful and curious gleam in my Welsh-hills gray-green eyes.

Oh boy, I bet that when you saw me, the first time,
you laughed inwardly, thinking that I looked like the biggest fool on the planet,
the sorriest Peter Pan reject; while on the outside,
you maintained a perfectly cool and stern expression on your face,
a frown pulling at the corners of your copper mouth,
displaying priceless scorn at the sight of a stray cat showing up, out of the blue,
on your father's doorstep; a country-bumpkin appearing,
one early morning in late March, oh am I right?
But it doesn't matter to me, though, I'm sure that you weren't expecting the kid
that your father hired to be your personal servant;
a valet of some unfortunate sort, to be such a breaker of rules,
speaking his mind and bad-mouthing you from the very start,
calling you out on your arrogance and oblivious nature,
not afraid of being struck down on the spot.
Yes, Sir Fake Lancelot, I bet you weren't expecting this from me at all..
Yet, you caught me by surprise, as well; or rather the circumstances did,
for I wasn't expecting to be appointed to such a high-ranking
and sought-after role; to be placed in the thorn-crowned position of being
your attendant, standing so close to pure-blooded royalty and
detesting every minute of it, all on my very first day on the job.

Oh it was a parody of an epic tragedy, a ballad, not quite taken seriously.
At the time, I wished I could curse the gods,
if I had it in me to go against my mother's faith, her long-standing belief
in the spirits of the natural world, the Celtic legends
that I grew up hearing about every night before bed;
tales of Wiccan chiefs and fey folk, healing gourds
filled to the brim with drinking-stars,
and protection runes carved into immortal tree bark.
Not even banshees scared me anymore, no; for I was taught to see death
with bright eyes, to accept it as a necessary passage to higher dimensions
where our souls could be free to roam peacefully
over water and earth, no longer weighed down by heavy and aching limbs,
eggshell skins and ashen daisy-powder bones.
Oh back then, I was young and proud, eager to make something of myself
that would surpass everybody's expectations;
their wildest imaginations, painting my name on their lips in transparent gold,
so that even when they swore that they couldn't remember it,
I knew that they were bluffing; I knew that
I had surely made an impact, no matter how small.

Oh that's what we all want, isn't it; to be recognized
for some heroic deed or selfless sacrifice,
on our failed-to-fly-but-still-trying all-human part?
Oh yes, you would agree with me because
all you did was dream about being spoken of with so much adoration,
that the echoes of your subjects' voices reached the very heavens above
and you would be rewarded by the angels for living up to the name
that you inherited at birth and that made you a prince, to begin with.
Yes, indeed, that's what we all want, isn't it;
to be respected and remembered, for decades to come?
Some of us want it to the full extent of shining winning-fame and fortune,
penned proof of our achievements on scrolls and journals, on legal documents;
while others only wish to be thanked, every once in awhile.
And I guess I'm one of the latter, friend, and you are definitely the former,
and there isn't a goddamn thing either of us can do about it; how fate
decided to push us in each others' paths, whether we liked it or not,
whether we wanted to fight the saints on this seemingly insane and ill-fated choice,
or just succumb to the irritable proximity of the situation that we were both in.

It was all out of our control and I can't blame you for being angry,
friend; for looking at me with nothing but derision
in your cerulean-blue stare when we first met,
because, god knows, the feeling was mutual.
Yet, now it doesn't matter, does it; those first few impressions..
No, now we sit with other knights around a campfire at dusk and
trust one another with all of our doubts and fears, unburdening thoughts
of shame and casting them into the hickory-smoke flames,
watching as flicker-beat fireflies rise from the ashes of our past mistakes,
soaring up into the crisp night air; like tiny bits of proof
that heaven actually exists beyond this
tangible and thick darkness, somewhere unknown.

Oh I assure you; I am not the only traveler here on this spacious jade-green land,
that hasn't felt lost and confused, at least once in his life.
No, I am not the only lonely soul who hasn't cursed his own reflection in the mirror
on nights when he is haunted by images of unrequited love;
of candlelit beauty, so easily admired from a distance, so utterly flawed up close.
Oh of straw-colored hair, made to resemble gold in drunk sour-wine poetry, and
eyes like storm-clouds; that is your caricature, burning in effigy now, friend; and
it is not a fairy-tale when you are stoned to death for believing certain things,
for practicing sorcery or simply being yourself.
You cannot blame the unfortunate, yet, brave ones
who stood up to your father and forefathers, who still think of you as the enemy,
as a threat to their safety; their survival and happiness,
in this magnificent dragon-scale kingdom in time.

And yet, despite it all, I still had faith in you; in my starlit knight
in crescent-moon-skinned armor,
believing that you could be better than the men who came before you,
those blinded by greed and poorly aimed power;
something that they called justice,
that was really just an excuse to kill that which they feared most.
Yes, that is why I chose to stay by your side,
when I could've run away, fled back to my mother's land, to her people;
a village in the mountains, so well hidden that
no one in your topaz city would have ever heard from me again.
Undoubtedly, I should have left when I had the chance
to avoid immeasurable pain, even the threat of death, heartbreak;
seeing lovers fall by the sword, seeing friends engaged in betrayal
again and again, seeing the concept of honor; of good versus evil,
being defied so often, misplaced in drunken dreams
where we shiver through episodes of tearful memories and resentment,
all the while the aftertaste of berry-wine stinging our tongues
and causing us to wake with still-sleepy, misty-heaven and clouded eyes.
Yes, my friend, I stayed; I risked my life, my secret past,
everything I was leaving unsaid and unwritten, because
I remembered having caught traces of compassion in your cobalt-blue stare,
bits of hope and revolutionary courage that I thought
would someday be enough to save us all.

But in retrospect, you never thought I could do much for you, did you?
Oh that is the saddest and most unfair part of all of this;
how there was so much that I could not tell you in the moment,
the short fire-bird red time that we had together, that
one of us took for granted and that the other was forced to let
burn itself out, like ashes on ebony and timber-wood;
sparks of dancing coral ribbons, unmentionable promises and
the truth replaced by sighs and grumblings, childish excuses
and the sound of your name being uttered from an unknown source,
starting out so clear and strong, adequately loud and proud,
eventually trailing off, eventually dying without honor in my throat..
Oh I remember; on a Fall night in the mountains,
when we were alone in the forest and I called out to you, my prince,
you turned around and I saw the stark trust in your irises; and I thought,
for once, that I was exactly where I was meant to be, by your side.
And though you did not say it, I knew in that moment that
you considered me to be one of your closest friends.
As absurd as this sounds, can you believe that I almost stood up and
grasped your shoulders with both hands,
confessed that all this time, I had been wanting to show you everything;
all of the ways in which I could be of service to you
as your mage, your protector, healer, a student of the Old Faith; anything,
really, that you needed me to be, just as long as you promised to still
look at me with those same noble eyes and say that
even after uncovering what I had tried so hard to keep hidden from you;
my identity in shadows, you still loved me, anyway..

Oh yes, my friend, I was almost that type of spineless fool; and sometimes,
believe it or not, I still wish I had listened to my heart instead of my brain
because being called a coward by the person you can't live without doesn't hurt
any less than an actual blade tearing through the leather and tattered cloth,
the flesh that makes up the very being that you are,
ripping out the seal of allegiance to the crown
that you had branded onto my chest on the day that
I had stumbled onto your doorstep, the day
that I resigned my life to being your servant
and declared my destiny to forever be tied to yours.

If I was a better man, I would say that I did all I could for you
and the rest I would leave up to God Himself,
but the truth is that I'm not; I'm not wiser or any less honorable
than your typical soldier, your unnamed peasant companion,
and I am no less cleaner than the lowliest bastard, church-mouse.
And so, that is why no matter how many times
I promise to do better and light votive candles in your memory,
I know that it will never be enough.
No, my prince, I will always wish that I'd had
the supernatural power that any half-mortal needed to save you
from premature and unjust death on a battlefield;
and your response, your echo, will always be silent
in the chapel of St. Cecilia, built by your grandmother,
because the past will always lay unfinished in my mind,
when it comes to the two us; here in this clover-valley.
It is the only real thing you left me with, friend.

I'm sure you didn't meant to, but it is what it is;
and there are so many things that we could have done differently,
but at the last minute, you swore that you understood my reasons
for not telling you who I really was and
that there really was nothing to forgive.
But, friend, can't you see how much harder it makes this whole mourning process,
knowing that you really had no clue how much I would have given up
if you had asked me to, if you had known that I loved you?
Oh it's rotten, isn't it; our luck in the end, our failed attempt at redemption?
“Live by the sword, die by the sword”, that ageless motto goes,
but even though some holy rulers, priests and archbishops,
may claim that violence and greed never ends;
even so, while you were here and breathing,
standing beside me on this fairy-home spring hill,
I swear I felt the kind of hope that only comes around once in a million light-years.

Oh you were my sun, even though I never would have admitted
how much I needed your warmth, your optimism;
while all around us, there was so much bleak devastation, merciless gray judgment.
Listlessly, inconsequentially, I remember now
how on the night before that last tragedy occurred,
no banshee did howl into the east wind; a wrecked war cry,
spelling out your name across the charcoal sky.
No, there was no warning sign before your sudden demise, boy,
because; to my unacknowledged surprise, I realized that
I had been denying the inevitable, all along.
Yes, the dragon mages did warn me once on a clear evening,
in a prophetic dream amid candlelight, that
a friend of ours would indeed betray our trust in him and
reward our kindness in helping him escape, long ago,
with resentment and silent hatred.
The oracle said that he would stab you in the chest with an ancient Celtic blade,
feel no remorse as he watched you fall to your knees,
but also feel nothing akin to satisfaction, only pure
regret that the bloody moment hadn't come a day sooner..

And as I saw you; vulnerable on the ground, in that split second,
I heard you gasp your last breath, holding it in
against your utter refusal to live with such shame in your dulling Persian-blue eyes.
Choking on the spirit of the crown you were; of
the lion symbol that had always adorned your father's house,
your father's strong and prideful name losing its luster like a pearl,
washed up on some forsaken Viking-conquered shore.
And all I felt in that moment was dread,
watching devastating defeat in those images
flashing before my still sealed-shut nightmare-eyes.
Friend, I swear I felt fear like ice water trickling down my spine;
and I wanted to reach out my hand into the fire of an unseen battle
and hold you close, hold you there, alive..
It was then that my tutor woke me up;
when I started mumbling your name in a cold-sweat sort of daze,
and he said that I sounded inconsolable,
that I sounded strange and unlike myself, suddenly so faraway,
like an echo of the fragility of youth.

But in the end, I had no choice but to confess what I had been hiding,
all along; the fact that I had been keeping this huge part of my identity
a secret from my very best friend in the entire world.
And there never will be any excuse or reason that wouldn't sound terrible
to my own ears, no matter the logic behind it.
Yes, that's the truth, the fact that I didn't want you to see me as anything
other than your most trusted companion, your brother in arms;
and how it could've been so much worse,
how you could've banished me from your presence, your court,
forever; or locked me up in a tower, yet,
still seeing the pain caused by my betrayal in your cerulean stare,
I swear that it killed me, right then and there.

“But I understand,” you said, unexpectedly,
quietly showing your own vulnerability
in a moment of hourglass enlightenment, just before we ran out of time.
“I understand why you kept this hidden from me,
and it must have been torture;
these last three years, living in fear, holding your breath,
every second of every day,
afraid of saying too much; of making a mistake
that would cost you your very life.
I am so sorry about that,
about putting you in such a difficult and dangerous position,
backing you up into a corner; into a spot where a sword hung above your head,
even though I wasn't aware of it.”
Then you looked at me steadily and said,
“It's my fault, too; for not standing up for people like you,
for not letting you know, from the very beginning,
that you should never be afraid to be yourself.”
And to my utter shock and confusion then,
your eyes misted over with fresh tears as you whispered those last words,
and you turned away from me, hiding your embarrassment
like only an aristocrat would ever do.

Oh I couldn't tell you what I wished for most, in that moment;
for your life to be restored to how it was, only a few hours before,
golden and bright, without any risk of dimming in the slightest;
or for mine to be taken in place of yours by some jealous god
or green-skinned unnamed forest nymph with a merciful heart.
Oh boy, you collapsed in my arms, after taking only
a few staggering steps in the direction of the river,
the wound that you received from that rusty Druid blade
refusing to heal, underneath your armor.
And there was nothing more I could do,
I was being told this from a heavenly voice that sounded too faraway
to be believable; and so, I refused to say goodbye,
even as you leaned your head back on my shoulder and told me that
all you needed was for me to stay there and hold you.

Oh no matter how tragic and unfair that instant felt,
weighing down on me all around, still, I refused to let the reality
or the sadness of it settle and sink in; like the tide that rolls into the bay,
into a place where the ocean and the river meet, coming together to collect
and eventually sweep away your weary Libra bones.
No, boy, I clenched my fists against the rough and tattered material of your cloak,
the one you wore underneath all that metal that was
supposed to protect your youthful flesh and hold you up to your full height and stature;
more than just that, more than an autumn-born king,
a sheltered ruler, not yet 20 years old.
I remained stubborn, sure; shouting at the heavens,
begging God for forgiveness and mercy,
until my voice died out and my throat became so sore,
that it failed me with an angry and tearful groan.
Oh I knew that you were gone, of course,
but I still grasped at whatever warmth that I could gather from your body,
the one that still felt strong and vital in my arms.
Oh I was hoping that you were actually playing a cruel joke on me, friend,
playing dead like a hunting dog in training;
I wished that you would open your eyes slowly and call me a fool, for old time's sake.
Yet, it all froze over then; the faith I had clung to for so long,
the hope of resurrection, of a second coming
in the form of a golden-haired prince who I never thought I would
find myself so horribly close to,
bound by something a little less ridiculous-sounding than destiny,
a little more than the kind of love that
won't let you move on or rest in a sort of resigned peace.

Oh you were mine, and yet; you weren't, really.
No, you were everybody's; and I was just the one who saw you fall,
who was there, at the very last moment.
And I know now that after I confessed my secret and you whispered
“Don't ever change”, you were actually
saying thank-you, and it left me speechless, friend.
But even so, it was up to me to send your soul out to sea; to lay
your body down in a rowboat, as per tradition in your land,
and watch it disappear into the glen-loch mist.
And it didn't matter if I didn't feel worthy in the end, acting as
a sort of highwayman in this strange passage to the after-life,
one that I wasn't even sure existed, that I longed to follow you through.
Oh no, it didn't matter because I knew I would be waiting for your ghost
to turn around, either way, to give me that overconfident smile
that used to drive me insane; and until then,
I would be haunted by the memory of the last time you said my name.

Yes, at the time, I was inconsolable, so hard to reach in my own sorrow,
because the truth is that when that rowboat floated away
with your body lying still and frozen in it, friend,
it felt like the current had taken a piece of me that
I never wished to reclaim without you.
Alas, like a birdsong on a battlefield;
the whisper of innocence and joy sounding so out-of-place,
your voice did reach me after that, years later;
when I had grown older, yet, no less wiser,
still carrying a torch for the steady beat of your lion-heart, my king.
birdsong on a battlefield
inspired by these beautifully sad Merthur videos :)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYrqQa…

song: The night we met by Lord Huron

www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTLrMj…

song: Echo by Jason walker
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You were waiting at the bus stop, with starfish clips in your hair;
with ear-buds tucked in your ears, through which
Sunset Boulevard melodies streamed into your memory,
but you weren't as broken as you appeared to be..
Oh no, my faithful Bliss, I hate to break it to you,
but you don't look nearly as invisible and inconsequential as you feel inside;
and who am I to say so, to know better, you ask.
Well, I'm just a guy who's been around, peering over the ivy and red-brick wall
that you've built up around your ego, your swift live-fast-die-young reputation;
a penchant for trouble, excitement and dancing heartbeats.
Girl, you never saw me coming, and granted; I didn't know you, either,
but I was still there, I can assure you; on the margins of your memory,
your day-to-day schedule, like a blurry Monet landscape.

I had only heard of you in passing, at parties on the beach,
after-midnight bonfires; all crackling wood-chips and sea-salt,
the taste of caramel and root beer on my lips, the taste of
a quick shallow kiss from a girl who wasn't quite a friend
and not exactly a lover, either.
Oh before you get all defensive, Bliss,
wondering what kind of gossip I heard,
you should know that the way that people whispered about you was
how old-time sailors used to spin out tales of sirens;  
vivid and often exaggerated descriptions of half-fish-half-human females
rising from the wicked gray-green sea,
enchanting men with their voices, coaxing
only the lowest of treasure-hunting fools into the water
below their ships' bows, luring blind mortals with tinkling jade-like arias.
Oh yes, they spoke about you in a way
that made me doubt whether or not you were actually real,
somehow just a loser's fantasy of a street-wise drifter
with peach-tinted skin and captivating sage-green eyes.
They said that you were some kind of pickpocket with an unknown accomplice;
with a getaway car and a taser that you kept hidden
either in your purse or underneath whatever cocktail dress
that you had swiped from someone else's clothesline.
According to my peers, you always targeted the rich and deluded
belles and bachelors of our Southern Comfort society,
never batting an eyelash at authority, at police officers
or stocky security guards at ritzy clubs;
white-collar bars that were your playground, because
word on the street was that you could run faster than any gazelle,
sprinting breathlessly away from a lion or other savanna predator.

Oh girl, I was sure that these stories sounded too far-fetched to be
based on anything close to reality, in the same vicinity
as your unrecorded presence; all sneaker footprints on melting tar
and concrete chipped sidewalks, broken bicycle chains
and screwdrivers, pale pink ballerina slippers.
But as it turned out; much to my surprise and admitted curiosity,
those people spreading gossip as a way of passing time
between history and calculus classes, choir practice and sit-down family dinners;
those people that I had considered to be gullible and drunk, high
off cocaine and wine spritzers, had gotten a few things right, after all.
For starters, girl, you really were sly and nymph-like, to the bone.
Yeah, even in frayed jeans and a Goodwill hoodie, you wore this modern era so well,
adopting an attitude that screams “free-bird”, a curious way of carrying yourself
over the crumbling Projects; these caving tin rooftops, like you didn't give a damn
how much you have to lose, which is nothing too precious,
like you were constantly living on the edge
because you knew no other way of breathing
Indian Paintbrush fire through chlorine-flooded lungs.

With no swimming-suit on, you leaped into the ocean; like a tiny October suicide-baby,
because I dared you to and you fired back at me with all the bullets you had saved up
on the tip of your tart raspberry-tongue,
refusing to swallow the bile of ever being wrong, ever sounding frightened or panicked;
no, not even a little bit, like a brown-and-white cottontail rabbit.
Oh but I have to tell you now, girl, before it's too late; that I was the one at fault,
that I was the one who spoke out of ignorance, out of pain and anger;
pride damaged by a death in the family that tore me apart, ages ago.
Now, reading the emptiness in your round marsh-green eyes,
you're my starlit silent fighter in Rock n' Roll t-shirt sleeves;
and I know that no excuse or apology I make will ever justify
taking your feelings for granted, mocking the cause of your long-carried depression.
No, god knows; it will never make us even, but I am still determined to keep trying
to prove my worth, my courage, the right to stand beside you
and share the burden, under tainted urban wire-lit cerulean skies.

Spitfire street-kid, yeah; I guess some people would assume
that this is all you're made of, taking into account the way
you dress and float around in trail-beaten sneakers, ironically,
with the gold ring that your father gave you still sparkling on your pinkie-finger;
with the word “goodbye” permanently scratched out of the travel-sized dictionary
that you carry in the pocket of your heavy-duty army-green hooded jacket.
“Oh she's a character!” people mutter as you walk past.
But I smirk silently to myself, knowing just how wrong they really are
for judging and labeling you like that because
the truth is that this wild-child persona is not the real you at all..

And even if my friends ask me, “How exactly do you know that?”,
I'll never tell them how you taught me your secret code of misplaced honor, girl;
how you showed me the trick to getting away with murder and other delicate crimes,
as swiftly as a garden snake in summer, explaining that:
“Character is what you do when nobody is watching”.
And I know you embellished on this meaning off of a famous quote,
but to tell you the truth, I found that I still admired you for it;
how you took whatever life threw at you and molded it to suit your purpose.
And yeah, some folks may claim that you're nothing but a cold-hearted swindler,
a tramp who thinks she's too clever and witty, too ruthless
to ever get caught; that it's only a matter of time
before she's cornered with her back against a wall,
fighting for survival, just like everybody she has ever mocked.
But I refuse to believe it to be true, girl, because I have more faith in you..

Even taking into account, your split-end thorns and roses, sugar-skull persona;
your old dusty sweatshirt and frayed denim shorts, your gladiator sandals and,
the tough windblown drifter-spirit that is still there,
still visible underneath your desolate shadow, even then;
what people tend to miss is the subtle irony,
glittering like sunlight on your tiniest baby finger,
the gold band that your father gifted you not long before
his car skidded across the Crescent City bridge,
going over the railing and causing a shattering explosion
that led to him drowning in the deep gray-blue star-illuminated haunted River Delta.
Oh girl, funnily enough; despite our differences,
I know exactly what it's like to be misjudged, every time you step out your front door.

Yes, Bliss, believe it or not, I know how you must feel when people in town;
at school or in the hospital, at the convenience store,
practically everywhere, look at you with suspicious eyes, claiming that
you're trash, even before you open your mouth.
Yes, I know because it's so goddamn frustrating
how whenever I walk into any Claiborne establishment,
people immediately assume that I don't belong, that I'm a thug, a low-life;
their eyes following my every move, waiting anxiously
for a slip-up on my part, for a confirmation from above that I am indeed
the immoral and conceited, lawless scum of the earth.
Oh you don't have to tell me about prejudice, girl,
because when the skin you were born in is as coffee-brown; as dark as mine,
you learn early on that ignoring this kind of thing and moving on,
choosing not to hide from the sun, no matter how
scorching hot and uncomfortable it is out in the open, amid blaring car horns,
sirens and shouted slurs; it's easier said than done..
Yeah, I'll even go as far as to say that sometimes it's almost impossible, sweetheart.

And I remember one of our earliest arguments, how you fired back at me
when I accused you of playing up your “white privilege” stance;
making yourself out to be a victim, when you weren't one, really.
I insisted that you could be reckless to your heart's content
because nobody would suspect a thing, looking like you did; like
a long-lost Hollywood starlet, a milk-carton poster child that the entire nation was
fighting to find alive and healthy, humming Willy Wonka show-tunes
and begging to be taken home, with big Jolly Rancher green eyes
on an innocent Puritan Christian face that no one could say no to.
Oh I'm so sorry that I said all those things, that I was mean and somewhat of a hypocrite,
because I had no idea that just a few hours before, you had almost
been assaulted by a monster; a low-life rich bastard on a night-washed sidewalk,
pressed up against the wall of a speed-chase high club, groped and
almost stripped of your clothes, of your spinel-blue compass-heart humanity.
Girl, you told me about that later; after I'd said some stupidly awful things,
convinced that you were a plain clean-bandit by choice, in comparison to me.

Bliss, you told me that there is really no such thing as unified justice.
Indeed, you scoffed and said that I had some nerve,
accusing you of acting entitled and eternally smug,
when I was the one attending classes at a private religious school.
And you know something, girl? You were right..
I was way out of line, perhaps projecting my own anger and insecurities onto you.
I did apologize later, as we sat on the cold floor of an abandoned church,
gazing at our reflections, mirrored through painted-glass windows;
two very different specimens of the same old Southern Comfort experience,
realizing that discrimination, as it turns out, goes every which way.

And truth be told; if I were to follow you down the river to your old neighborhood,
I most likely would find tiny squares of dried lime-green grass,
surrounded by chain-link fences and simple taupe houses,
hearing the blaring noise of police sirens down every other street,
every other chipped and chalk-paved corner.
Yes, Bliss; inside your home, I would find your mother,
who's seen better days, all wrapped up in a fluffy pink blanket on the couch.
Watching soap operas and smoking cigarette after cigarette,
she would be almost catatonic, her slender fingers still trembling from bouts of anxiety
and depression caused by bad memory-filled dreams from the night before.
Bliss, sometimes she would acknowledge you, without taking her eyes off the television;
and other times, it would just feel like she was just staring through you,
her glassy eyes seeming not to recognize any part of her daughter at all.
Oh like it or not, honey, you were sure that sometimes
your mother was simply searching for god-knows-what, for
some kind of miracle or sign that not all hope was lost.

Ironically, the other day, you introduced me to her as your new friend,
even though technically, I'm not; even though we hardly know each other
and have trouble understanding our reasons for doing shit, most of the time.
But that's just fine by me, sweetheart; I don't have to force a smile
or aid you with a proper introduction..
I don't need to gift your mother with an explanation to put her mind at ease,
to reassure her that I would never let any harm come to her daughter.
In all honesty, I actually appreciate
your willingness to avoid asking and answering too many questions,
even though I think that in your case,
it is more of a coping mechanism than a sincere and real-life personality trait.
But still, girl; in some weird way,
you understand me like no one else does
and I honestly believe that I can help you trust, slowly,
curb your desire to always run away.

Yeah, Bliss, I'm dead serious because you're eighteen and still breathing, girl..
Although some people may not think so,
after everything that you have endured, it's still something to be proud of, for sure.
When I finally told you this, inside that old abandoned church
that had become your new haven of sorts,
you actually smiled, girl.
Between flickering October-spice candlelight and stained-glass depictions of Christ;
saints and newborn kings,
your smile, Bliss, was more angelic than any artful innocence that I had ever seen.
Yeah, against all tributes of superior immortal beings; both winged and wingless,
splayed in glittering hues of rose-gold and sunflower yellow
across a dimmed twilit window,
girl, you were still marvelous.
It was partially because on that night,
you finally threw away the powder that you kept hidden in tiny capsules, underneath
the floorboards; the drugs that helped you stay awake and alert,
preventing you from letting your guard down,
getting caught in a dangerously vulnerable and frighteningly human situation again.
Of course, I can't be sure, but that night, there may have been
an expected chill in the air, girl;
or my words must have reached you somehow
because you called me and I sneaked out of my quiet house, just to see you after 12.
Yeah, at around 2 AM, you fell asleep with your head resting on my shoulder;
with your wheat-blond hair brushing against my collarbone,
the strands so feather-light and curling at the ends.

That's right, my sun-gliding spirit; that was the moment that I wasn't expecting,
but with the first light of dawn, our shared closeness melted away
and we were abruptly scrambling to get our backpacks and jackets,
our school-books and wallets together, our bus passes;
and creating distance between our tense and slowly waking shadows,
we were suddenly running towards the same exit of that morning-dove sanctuary.
Girl, we were leaving each other with awkward farewells and sideways glances,
just like before; but still, we couldn't ignore how
the universe seemed to always be forcing us to meet by accident;
crossing paths on forest trails and highways, amid sirens and car crashes;
on basketball courts and even cemeteries,
on the corner of voodoo shops in the French Quarter.
Yeah, Bliss; even through the glass walls of your father's skyscraper office,
we were channeling each others' energy,
each others' fears and post-disaster magic,
all the while facing the dreary-looking Pontchartrain Causeway.

Oh I felt like we were just trying to navigate this strange new world together;
over precariously placed stepping-stones, oil-slick swamp water,
and the secrets of our strict, yet, doting elders.
Rest assured, it was complicated, darlin'; it was confusing, beyond belief,
whether we asked for guidance or not, whether we were faking confidence
as we tried to figure it all out on our own or actually getting somewhere
as we leaped over neatly placed camouflaged alligator tails.
I can't help but recall how you told me about your latest partner-in-crime;
your most recent almost-lover, how you felt guilty about leaving him behind,
leaving him in the dark, because you believed that you had no other choice.
Oh you told me that you saw his hopes and dreams through a kaleidoscope of blue-green,
dogwood pink and white; a vibrant spring-valley scene, with veils hanging
above an alter and a sparrow-carved gazebo, a slow dance with inside-jokes
whispered between you two, and somewhere; bells and chimes tinkling,
keeping time with the rhythm of your rain-and-blues beating heart,
hidden underneath the delicate fabric of your cream-and-rose tinted gown.

Yes, girl, you confessed that this seemingly innocent vision filled you with
inexplicable and unimaginable dread, causing you to shove that poor fool away
when he tried to kiss you, to promise you forever;
and you ran back into the shadows that had ironically become your safe-haven of sorts,
in the reeking sour whiskey filth of St. Patrick's Day slums.

And unable to suppress my growing curiosity, Bliss;
learning this brand new thing about you,
I couldn't help but ask, “Why did you do it?”
I couldn't deny that I was already intrigued by your peculiar and on-the-edge,
your disastrously mortal, fascinating existence.
Girl, I was already caught in your unsuspecting trap of random twists and turns,
despite knowing better; and I wanted to discover the reason as to why you loved
putting yourself in danger so badly, why
you never screamed through the pain or asked for help, why things like morality
and heroism never seemed to matter in your mind.
Bliss, your actions and your temper; your
overall cut-throat style, suggested that you more
like a fallen angel than a mortal, a fragile damsel-in-distress, not quite evil
or violent in nature, and yet, not entirely
harmless or naive, either; just a tiny bit lost..

Oh my guess was proven correct when you shook your head and said,
“That boy; he wants to marry a girl like me.
That's why I ran away; because it sounds too absurd to believe!”
Yet, now it was my turn to shake my head and
tell you the god-honest truth, girl, that:
“No, he doesn't want to marry a girl like you, my martian princess.
Your so-called partner-in-crime, almost boyfriend or whatever;
he wants to marry you, after everything has faded away,
the illusion of your high-class speed-chase, outlaw fantasy;
and that has to count for something..”
I tried to hold your forest-green gaze for a second there, girl,
but you looked away, stubbornly.
You looked at the dove painted on a wall; opposite a crucifix,
and said, dully, “He doesn't even know me.”
Oh Bliss, I couldn't deny hearing the sad note in your voice,
and I couldn't deny being able to relate in some weird way.
I knew that you pushed people away, for fear of getting hurt
and being judged, eventually losing the ones
that you had opened up to, unexpectedly; at the last real minute,
holding them close and believing them to be allies.
Oh I understood, but at the same time;
I realized, after my brother's death, that
we can't shut out the world and still call ourselves brave.

Surprisingly, girl, you listened to me, but I still have no idea why.
You let me play that tape that I found in an old shoe-box under my bed,
the one with my brother's voice on it; his beat-boxing talents recorded,
his awkward-sounding adolescent-toned sentences and the mention of my own name,
followed by my high-pitched childish pleas for attention.
And we heard his last original notes; basement melodies,
songs that would never be written and sung on the radio, replayed into recognition
by jaded underground society, obsessed with fame and fortune.
And you told me, girl, that you never wanted to forget your father's gentle whisper,
the same way that I never wanted to forget the sound of my older brother's laugh.
Oh that was when I realized that we knew each other so dangerously well..
Some people would have said that we were too close for comfort,
but even when I did my best to avoid thinking about you, girl;
drowning in my own frustration and resentment; my growing compassion
for our shared experiences, I found that I couldn't,
no matter how many laps I ran around an empty gym at night,
how many crunches I did in my bedroom when I should have been asleep,
with sweat streaming down my neck, my arms and back.

During this time, girl, you had a nightmare,
in which you were driving out of your hometown;
the scenery around you pitch-black, except for a few gleaming emerald trees,
the highway like a beacon, a diamond-back escape route
leading towards both nothing and everything.
But the most curious thing about this dream was the fact that you were in a prom dress;
all cream with lilac tones, like the flowers
hanging over balconies in the white-hill Garden District,
or carefully placed over gravestones in an ancient Catholic cemetery.
And, Bliss, there was blood trickling down your your forehead and your date was missing
from the passenger seat; with nothing but his tie and cuff-links left behind,
those subtle little reminders that once upon a time, you had a heart to give away freely.

Yet, now; driving down a moonstruck bridge late at night,
with glittering buildings to your right and the Mississippi Delta to your left,
you weren't sure if you were supposed to crash the car
and hand over your some unnamed narrator; or just moving,
heading out of this eternally damned and broken pipe-dream city.
Tell me, Bliss, because I'm curious; did it matter at all, that unspoken choice,
as you drifted down less friendly and eerie blocks of homes
in shambles, remnants of Katrina casualties?
You realized then that leaving wasn't as dramatic as you thought it would be and
perhaps that was the thought that scared you the most;
but, darling, who the hell knows?
Bliss, when your eyes flew open, you reached for your phone.
You decided not to dial my number, you later told me,
because the action felt too much like an instinct;
like such a goddamn natural thing,
that it made you worry, acknowledging that we had just met, weeks prior; and that
no matter how close we had become,
we were still from completely opposite sides of a social class spectrum.
“It shouldn't matter but it does,” you admitted later on.
"This isn't a fairy-tale, in case you haven't noticed, boy.
There is no easily discovered solution, no happy-ending
with crowns and pumpkin carriages, dewdrop diamond necklaces.”
You sighed and continued, this time, not even looking at me,
“There is no promise of eternal adoration, of security
in the arms of someone who never dies young.”

Finally, you glanced back at me and said, hesitantly,
“I didn't want to sound desperate and needy on the phone is all.”
And it probably wasn't funny at all, but hearing this confession
actually made me want to chuckle because
feeling desperate was something that I could easily understand,
but picturing you as anything close to needy was, quite frankly, impossible.
Of course, I knew that you were the one who pushed people away
as a defense mechanism, having to fend for yourself at an early age; and so,
it didn't make any sense that you would be afraid of coming across as weak.
No, you were too much of a bad-ass for that;
you were too much of a bronze-and-silver toned silent warrior..

“And you're hard-headed, for sure, girl; daring, to a fault!”
I felt the need to tell you out loud, not through text message,
candle-wax postscripts or an email that you hadn't used in ages.
“You're so stubborn and proud, even in your loneliness.
To tell you the truth; most of the time, it's frustrating being here
and witnessing your willingness to be forever numb and cold to the world.”
Girl, I take a deep breath before continuing,
“When I see you sliding down a precipice;
your hands clawing at nothing but rocks and dirt,
I feel the need to run to your aid like an electrical current,
shooting through my veins.”
Bliss, you say nothing but your cheeks turn slightly pink as I say,
“Even on the edge, dangling precariously in mid-air,
you still refuse to scream or cry out for help;
you still refuse to show fear like any other wingless human being,
and that's so utterly stupid, so incredibly insane.”
Oh but instead of getting angry, giving me a withering scowl or a death-glare,
you managed a small wry smile in response
and I managed to hold your gaze steady.
I told you that; no matter what, I would never look at you, as though you were
weak and worthless, as though you were
destined to fail and never shine brightly,
never amount to anything great and memorable.
Granted, I'm not sure if you believed me or not, but in any case,
you still gave me a real smile of appreciation
that wasn't at all marred by heartache for once;
by pretense or irony, by chills-down-your-spine, trademark regret.

The enormity of that moment hit me then, how; even though I had been
giving you a hard time about not seeing the good in others,
I didn't always know what I was talking about because like it or not,
faith didn't always lead to promising results
and trusting someone felt a lot like handing them a knife
and letting them cut you open, see all of the raw apple-white
and cashmere scraps of flesh, your vulnerability glistening
with all of its frightening rain-and-gaslight secrets inside.
Bliss, I should know that; at the very least,
giving someone that much power over you isn't
the most pleasant or painless way to go, to leave this world;
the most smooth-sailing and easy-swaying way to die young and beautiful.
Oh that's why; at the end of the day, trusting one another was
probably the bravest and least selfish thing that we had ever done.
Yes, in our crystal-blue and American red-robin youth,
we were finally redeemed, after all this time.

And I told you so when you showed me the shackles
that you planned to wrap around your ankles,
that you hoped would be heavy enough to weigh you down and
force you to drown underneath the murky green
early spring waters of the Mississippi River.
I'm not going to lie, girl; I was stunned, hearing how you had
actually gone to the bridge, not even 24 hours prior to our meeting
with the intention of committing suicide
because even nine years since the accident that took your father,
you still wished that you had died, instead.
Oh I remember walking over to you slowly,
as though you had a knife or a gun in your hand;
and I remember reaching my hands out,
hoping that you would trust me to hold you because
I was so goddamn sorry that I had once shouted at you during an argument,
that I had once dared you to end it all, right there and then.
Bliss, I couldn't believe how stupid I'd been, thinking that you didn't
have the nerve and the self-hatred to do something
that you had secretly wanted to do,
since you were just an 8-year old girl in mourning.

“It's called survivor's guilt; this thing we have,” I told you once.
That's why I should have known better; that's why I should have seen
the signs of defeat in your eyes, the loss of innocence,
and recognized that pain like that doesn't just go away, magically;
that it can't be wiped clean with holy water, salt and lavender rain.
No, darling, you don't just get over a past so grim; and you know something?
Truthfully, it was the exact same nightmare that I saw
hidden in my molasses-coated eyes, in front of my cracked seventh day mirror.

And so, I should have known, better for so many reasons, girl.
But after everything, you still fell into the circle of my arms,
as if it was supposed to happen, anyway, Bliss; like it was a long time coming,
and you also untangled those chains from around your body,
let out a sigh like it was such a huge and startling, breath-catching relief.
You wrapped your slender arms around my shoulders and pressed your cheek against my neck.
Your ivory skin felt cold against my flesh, your breath sounded shallow in my ears
as you started to cry, shedding those tears that had been trapped
in your wild ginger-and-honey throat so long,
that you had forgotten the real motive for your sorrow, long ago.
But in that moment, darling, nothing mattered but the truth;
the simple fact that we could be ourselves, without apologies or excuses.
And so, I folded my hands around your waist and I held you close,
told you that now that the worst was over,
it had to be easier to move forward, now that we'd both been able
to confront the monsters from our shared past.
Girl, I told you that even though my brother and your father could never
be brought back to life, dug up from their unmarked watery graves;
still, we were no longer hiding in their shadow-like memories,
no longer tied to the ground that had been
marred by slave children's footprints for centuries.

Oh no, we were no longer sob-story grief-carriers, sweetheart;
no longer lost and blind, soulless travelers with backpacks
strapped to our crescent moon-shaped shoulder-blades.
Oh I insisted, Bliss, “Give yourself a chance!
You and I are going to survive, whether that be together or as individuals,
doing our own thing, faraway or close by, seeing and loving other people;
it doesn't matter, but we are going to survive.
We're going to make it, no matter what the odds are,
no matter what the statistics say about kids like us;
in the paper or on television, they don't know us,
don't know what we can do with our strengths, with
our terribly twisted and fucked-up but still powerful brains.”
And you actually laughed then, surprisingly.
girl, you wiped the tears from your face and asked in a small, almost shy tone,
“Is that what hope looks like?”
Friend, I couldn't help but grin and playfully bump your shoulder with mine,
say, “You tell me, warrior princess.”

We were brought back to a single moment, again and again,
but nothing changed until we willed it to; until we forced time to stand still,
trap our screams inside an invisible bottle that would then be cast out to sea,
until we decided to forgo suicide and try something new,
to finally fight against our cynical and mind-reading demons.
Oh girl, I decided that I wasn't going to end up just another
lifeless midnight-toned body shot down on the east side of town;
and you decided that you weren't going to walk out of your house
and disappear into a faceless crowd, never to be seen again.
Yeah, unexpectedly, we were beating the odds, defying the records
claiming that we were nothing but two trash-talking kids with the words
“most likely to die, unrecognized” stamped on our foreheads.

Oh maybe-someday child, we weren't supposed to meet like this, were we?
Lying here, side-by-side on top of a water tower or abandoned building;
perhaps even on the bow of a ship, stranded in the middle of the ocean,
we weren't quite sure how we ended up there or why we had survived,
when others hadn't been so lucky, doomed to drown with starfish corpses
pressed on their eyelids and secrets forever embedded in the delicate
skins of their throats like gangland tattoos.
Oh believe me, girl; I wanted answers, too,
but before you started asking the really difficult questions,
persuading me to shout at the soundless void of the autumn night sky,
I reached across the concrete and found your hand.
I covered your fingers with mine, before you could say a single word.
You glanced over at me, girl, somewhat shocked that I had the nerve,
but still; you didn't pull away and I took that as a sure sign
that you understood all the things that I was trying to communicate,
that no matter how confusing our surroundings, our fate on a night
filled with black water and oil-tainted turtle-doves; broken toy cars and guns,
I was still there with you, refusing to let you suffer alone.

And for once, you just bit your tongue and looked up at the navy-gray clouds.
For once, you were simply grateful that you were still breathing, Bliss;
and that  your heartbeat wasn't the only one echoing in your ears,
after a near-death experience.
Feeling fresh warmth rise to my cheekbones as you squeezed my hand,
I imagined white-and-yellow daisies sprouting from our fingertips,
between the carpet-burns and bruises on our all-spice and umber skins.
Oh in that moment, I kept my eyes on the starless sky above,
so I didn't see if there was a wicked spark in your eyes or
if your confetti-pink mouth smiled just the tiniest bit, but I clearly
heard the calmness in your voice
when you sighed and whispered, “God save our young blood..”
God save our young blood
got this idea, watching Cloak and dagger
songs:
Lana Del Rey- God save our young blood
Jai wolf- starlight
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autumn-spirit
sharon
United States
Current Residence: Texas
Favourite genre of music: rock
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