Mr. Ebenezer Brightside

You watch her walk up the stairs, her hair so much longer than it used to be that you almost don’t recognize her. You wait until she pauses, then walk up to her and clear your throat. She whirls around so fast that her hair is still falling into place around her startled face when her eyes widen in recognition. “You”, she breathes, and holds out her arm – you aren’t sure if it’s to steady herself from the turn or to protect herself from you.

“I need to talk to you”, you say, and nearly cringe at the hoarseness of your voice, but her eyes are darting to the stairway and the elevator just visible in the lobby, as if calculating her chances of escape. You wait patiently as she fiddles with her hair, a different shade from what you remember too, and then sighs, “Alright. But, not here.”

Your relief quickly turns to confusion, yet you keep the expression on your face characteristically blank. “Okay..”

She knows you too well though, and answers the question you did not ask by holding up her hand before her face. It takes you exactly six seconds to notice; if the diamond hadn’t been shining so brightly in the sunlight, you’d probably have taken longer. Her hand trembles and she lowers it slowly, your eyes falling with her fingers as they clench into a fist. You look up to her to notice her looking at your face, waiting for your attention. She won’t say your name. “I have to go now.”, she says, and silences your protest before it has begun, “I’ll meet you tomorrow, by the War Memorial. In the evening, at six.”

Six. Once it was dark. She didn’t wan’t to be seen with you. She turns to leave and starts to walk away, and you can’t help but call out her name. She stops, but does not turn around.

“Who is he?”, you ask.

A strangled noise makes it way from her lips as she whirls around, her eyes wild and hair framing her face like the flames of hell, and you remember her from your days together at the war. She seems to struggle with herself as you stand firmly before her, wondering how things could have gotten to this point, until a cloud passes over the sun, distracting you into breaking eye contact, and by the time you look back, the moment is gone. She is standing tall before you now, the expression on her face eerily serene, and more so in contrast to the anger you could have sworn threatened to consume the both of you just moments before. She gives you a tight-lipped smile, her face pale, but her eyes are bright. “That is none of your business.”

She turns and walks away.

“It used to be.”, you call out to her retreating back. “You remember? When you begged me to help you? It used to be. Until you left.”

She pauses again. “Yes..”, she says, thoughtfully. “It used to be. But it is not anymore.”

And, with that she is gone. And the flowers you brought on your way here are suddenly too heavy and dead in your jacket, And the ring on her hand is now shining in your mind, blinding in its meaning.

You walk out of the complex in a daze and almost don’t see her across the road, swallowed up whole in the too-large jacket she has on. Someone walks up to her and hands her a cup of something warm and steaming, and you see her lift up her head to smile at him in gratitude and loyalty. You recognize the smile because it used to be you she once smiled that way for. And you watch as she adds sugar to both their cups, the wind carrying snatches of conversation towards you amidst this sleepy corner of the city.

She is speaking of Christmas as she hands him his cup of coffee; and the man leans forward and kisses her forehead.

And you turn away, suddenly sick.

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The Last Letter

I stand here to present

an arrogant appeal to your better senses

This is no argument

but a humble plea to lower your pretenses

.

For you were there when the moon fell

Don’t you remember, you were there?

You pulled me out of my reverie

And out of the way of the poisoned air

.

And you know what I am destined for

Surely, you know what I am meant to do

Is not that why you saved my life?

Back when we were young, and whole, and true?

.

But that my worth would come to so little,

If I had only had but a clue

Remember, my erstwhile lover

I would have never chosen you

.

Ah, well, what’s done is done

And what must happen, happens

I’m not afraid of your thunder and lightning

for I have fought with dragons

.

I gave you, once, a prophecy

A warning borne out of nothing but love

You underestimate your enemies

And one day, that will fuck you up

.

But, I am not your enemy, my dear

Oh, no, though one day I know I must be

I hope your freedom and space, my dear

Are worth having forsaken me.

.

Though, in this depth, I feel strangely free

And for that, once again, I owe you my sanity

The first for pulling me out of the sea

the second, for holding me down and drowning me

.

Take note, my erstwhile lover

Things are not always as they seem

The age of nightmares is just beginning

And all life is only a dream.

Iniquitous

Your heart is still as stone, my love

(Or at least, it so truly wants to be)

Yes, I have known that long enough,

Pardon my insolent iniquity?

Still and sharp as the rock beneath,

Cutting all those who mistread, my love

Yet in all its obsidian sharpness,

I thought it a diamond in the rough

My diamond in the rough, my love

Yet it’s my veins you choose to mark?

Once with nectar, now with poison,

Anyone ever mention how you shine brighter in the dark?

But, I fear not, my fellow mortal,

trapped in this sea of mediocrity

For I have seen the morbid future

and by killing me, you have set me free

And when I have drawn my last breath, as decreed by fate

your soul shall harken unto me

But it shall be far, far, too late

And I will not even haunt thee.

For the die is cast, words of the spell spoken

There remains only the way to be free

A heart, finally, still as stone, my love

And it pardons your insolent iniquity.

Banished

Hands reaching out like vines in a forest.
Always waiting to grab your soul.
Show me a way out, estranged lover,
Show me a way out, before you go..

I remember being washed clean
Before all of this trading of pain
Since then, admittedly, I have fallen
to new depths again and again

From grace,
time and space
While all I recall
is that look upon your face.

My words fall too, yes,
Like broken fragments of glass
Nothing good ever comes from a  journey
Ceaselessly, into the past

Yet, here I stand bewildered
How does it matter which way I choose?
Still, your order of banishment stands dictated
And who am I to refuse?

The End

Sorrow, like an albatross
hangs about my throat
Watching with possessive eyes
as on my own words, I choke.

I have always said I craved to be
at the least, more than free
But freedom is its strongest chain
So much larger than me

Yes, we do what we must
that alone is true
And you don’t love me
But I’ll always love you.

So, I hold you no ill will
No wishes of regret
Just promise me one thing,
that you will never forget..

Songs of light, chains of gold
And flowers of twisted steel
A seashore that weeps and weeps
And things that time can never heal

I know, you did what you had to
so that you could be free
Now, darling, be reasonable
And expect no lesser from me

I have loved you for ages
And never thought I’d find thee
here of all places,
quietly waiting for me

So forgive me for not taking the hint
Forgive me for being unable to flee
Forgive me for bothering you with the truth
But I cannot go, and I will not leave

And as the sun rises on my setting heart
I know this burden is mine alone to bear
How long, how long, will I slide?
I do not know, and you cannot care

Freedom is only a word, but so is Love

Meaningless.
Obsolete.
Stuck in a
memory
Dancing doll,
stop your feet
The song’s long
gone, you see

Irredeemable
Lost in time
A nostalgia
so sublime
Under a red sky
that bled in rhyme
Binding souls
and stopping time

Irrelevant,
it haunts me
in flashes
that taunt me
I am confused
and lonely
The past seems
now so phony

Blitzed sunrises
and stormy nights
In fragments
of darkness and light
They haunt me,
leave me in a fright
And I can’t remember
what you didn’t say that night.

But, devour me
Swallow me whole
Tell me your secrets,
then tell me more
I’ll be your blood
You be my soul
Join me in enlightenment
Free me from this cold

Alas, it’s time
the truth must be set free
I love you, it’s true
But you don’t love me
And love’s only a word
What does it know of how things feel
No, love is overrated
Still, you don’t love me

True Freedom is
its own prison indeed
You’re always a captive
of the things that you need
And wanderers are free too
as long as they have nowhere to be
Ah, perhaps only the lost
can ever truly be free…

To Stay or To Go

What do you do when faced with life’s most persistent question: Stay or Go?

To Stay would mean swallowing your pride, perhaps even apologizing. Staying would mean trying to forget the shape and color of the knife that you barely managed to pull out of your throat. Staying means lowering your voice, walking on eggshells, and never being able to find the level of happiness you knew before you learnt that it could all be too easily destroyed. Staying means betraying yourself, with sugar-coated lies, and reassurances that your mind whispers to you all day long. Things were different back then. He didn’t mean it. This time is different. Staying means the constant reminder of the time you were confused, like a song that you had to train yourself not to cry at, or a milkshake that you had to stop drinking because it reminded you of him. Staying is pain.

To go would mean having the opportunity to start over. Leaving will allow you to relearn things, experience them all – all over again – with someone new. Leavng means being able to say at the very begnning, “Don’t hang up on me. I fucking hate people who do that.” Leaving means being free to pick a new favorite flavor of ice-cream, a new favorite song, even a new favorite scene from any move you like. Leaving means new adventures, new faces, new reasons to laugh and rejoice and celebrate life. Leaving shows you that you’re stronger than anything life may throw in your path. Leaving assures you that you’re still what’s most important to you – something that’s a lot more necessary than one might think. Leaving means movng on, forging your own path, letting go, growing up, seizing the day.

But, leaving can also be cold.. especially when everywhere else in the World seems dark and lightless. And when your very being likes where it is, leaving isn’t so much about moving forward, as it is about grabbing on to soul’s soft hair, and wrenching it out of its warm bath, only to drag it far and beyond everything it has known and grown to love. Leaving is about goodbyes that you *have* to say, and more importantly, goodbyes that you do not know how to say. About farewells that find you kicking and screaming as you try to hang on, and those that are so exhausting that they leave you curled up in a corner, too tired to even cry. Leaving involves the long walk down the driveway, every step of which is wracked with guilt, blame and regret. With doubts and despair. With the sinking feeling you get when you realize that it doesn’t matter how much time, effort, money or love you put into whatever it was that you must now say goodbye to – it clearly wasn’t enough. Not good enough. You weren’t good enough. Leaving is about accepting defeat, and moving on.

Yet, sometimes you have to linger.. Whether it be by your pool, or by the flowers you so painstakingly planted, even if it is for no other reason than to see them bloom. Even if they aren’t even your flowers anymore. Even if the Sun shines hurtfully, or you’re trapped in the pouring rain, or it begins to snow.. Staying doesn’t need the rewards leaving gives you, because being able to stay is by itself a reward. It gives you time to say your proper goodbyes, to apologize to those that hurt you, to kiss the pet animals you’ve rescued over the years, and tell the children to be good, and to pack up the things you know you’ll need, and pack away the things that have outlived their purpose. Staying, whether it be for minutes, months or years, acknowledges the time you spent trying to build up this castle for your spirit. It accepts the apologies you’re compelled to make every  time you see a crack in the wall. It teaches you how you could have done things differently, and how you could have saved it all.

~

Only thing to remember is not to linger too long.

Because your soul needs its hot water bath and familiar surroundings, even if you have to build them up from scratch.

Your soul needs the reassurance of knowing that you won’t be kicked out to the curb again.

Your soul needs a place to plant flowers, and giggle deliriously and be kissed by someone who cares about you so very much, that they would never ever leave you out in the cold.

Don’t linger too long. Your soul deserves better.