Pyrrhic Victories

I dig my grave slower now, you know; Or,
Perhaps the speed of time is what has changed.
For I admit it takes a lot more things
To fill up the same four dimensions of space.

Could be a manufacturing defect,
The Lord knows I have an ark load of those;
But I always thought I’d hit rock bottom
All those lovely, colorful years ago.

You remember those days, don’t you, my dear?
The skies, wind and fire, the rain and desire?
Breathe, I jest; I know you have forgotten
And it’s my lone burden to light this pyre.

A requiem for a thought, more than a dream
Ah, we were not who I once thought we were
Still, I found us good, beautiful and true
Forgive my soul, Father, for I have erred.

Seeing things in one particular way,
We are both victorious, you could say in wisdom
Though I can’t help but wonder on good Fridays,
Whether your space tastes half as hollow as my freedom.

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?

Arizona Phoenix

I have spent so long under this hot desert sun, dreaming up cages and sweet releases of rain and thunderstorms, that I somehow stumbled past the realization of no longer being tied to any wire. The freedom I craved was apparently mine to bestow upon myself – for quite a while now. But I had spent so long deceiving myself when it came to my reasons for staying, I had truly come to believe that I was stranded. Abandoned off some highway so distant and untraveled, that my weary wings would never be able to bear me to civilization ever again.

And I lay on the ever hardening, burning Earth, convinced that what I felt was coldness inside. Was it? I don’t know anymore.. Have no way of knowing. At least not immediately. But, fighting pain with more pain is a hatchling habit that should have died a long time ago. Except my obsession with souvenirs includes saving remnants of who I have been. Living ghost memories of parallel personalities that allowed me to sneak past life events before being able to fully comprehend them. Guardians that  may or may not have outlived their purposes, but it doesn’t matter, because I never learned to let go.

And we have sailed, with inappropriate laughter and tears, to this utterly bizarre point in time, all out of sync except when it comes to the burning rage at the core of us all. I think it’s the scintillating fusion of burning rage and the helplessness that comes with being not strong enough that gave birth to most of these ghosts in the first place, not quite unlike every other phoenix. Except since they never die, they are never reborn – simply frozen in time like ghosts that should fade, but never learned how to.

These are the ghosts that bind me. The remnants of a past so distant, I cannot even think of that person – those persons – as myself. And thus my frozen portraits bind me to the present, unable to move forward in time long enough to burn to ashes and be reborn. My sentimental heart longs for one more rain before it will allow me to go. But she is untrustworthy, and no amount of water will ever be enough. She shall always be thirsty.

I remember an old professor now. Back when I was so young that even the dreariest day brought with it abundant hope and the promise of adventure. The World was our’s. And he told us how it worked. How sometimes, it didn’t matter how much effort, time, capital or energy you had invested in a project. Sometimes, you had to realize that there would be no returns. Sometimes, you had to simply cut your losses. Those losses are your “Sunk Costs”, and well, it was an economical serenade to the concept of letting go. Harsh, practical and so true.

Except, I must be bird brained. Because despite knowing that, here I am. Cooking in the middle of a desert where I’m not even wanted, and where I have *never* wanted to be. What for? For years and years of sunk costs, I say. Years and years. And I’ve been putting away my turning to ashes and being reborn by one last thunderstorm and one last volcanic eruption and one last winter and one last smile – but my time has run out.

Change or Die.

That is not the question.

That’s the answer.

UnContainable

 

If I knew
how to contain this
the feeling of falling endlessly
I would not need you
to be an echo

An echo of
both the heights
and the depths
that I have only
dreamed of

Of heights and depths
that I have only
ever seen
in hues
of you.

My World
does not revolve
around you
but, sometimes
how I wish that
it would.

Because you’re all
I want to see
and touch
and know
and feel..

And because
everything else
is drenched in evil
and sin..
but you,
You will always be the good.

Even if
you do choose
to exist as a blade
without a handle
buried in my throat.

Yes, even then.

Bleeding Light

In the arch of her back,
At the corner of his mind,
With all the things they have lost
and dare not hope to find
lies one last chance at redemption
flickering slowly out of sight
But he resolutely faces the other way,
while she stands, blinded by the light.

It was so much brighter once,
before her eyes grew used to this dark
whilst he nourished the flame as long as he could,
until the constant vigilance left its mark
And now he stands, unmoved, decided,
even as she begs him to reconsider
As the flame of all that once was lies dying,
promising to leave them both embittered.

Why won’t he listen? Why won’t he save it?
Girl, wipe those questions of grief off your face
What you weep for is long long gone
nor will this once raging fire leave a trace.
Except that scar, around your heart,
where the wire cut you deepest
There is no shame in falling down,
when the height you chose was the steepest.

I know you won’t stop wishing for miracles,
nor stop needing the way he breathes
I wish I could show you the truth,
because, in the end, everyone leaves.
But you know that, my dearest girl,
Isn’t that why you bleed yourself to sleep?
Ah, you’ll miss the pain when the numbness starts,
Remember not to go too deep.

In Love and War

“Get the fuck out of my fucking house.”

She shrunk away from him, turning away so he wouldn’t see the tears filling up her eyes. She needn’t have bothered, as a moment later, the door had slammed loud behind him, and his angry footsteps faded away from where she knelt. Her stifled cries turned to sobs, but only for a minute. Had she not cried enough for this? Had these stone floors not drunk enough of her tears?

She limped to the door, and bolted it from the inside. She was safe now, at least until he decided to return. She had to be gone before that, she thought dully. Gone somewhere far. Where he couldn’t find her.

The mob stormed the village, screaming obscenities and firing indiscriminately as they came. The villagers ran about in panic, many getting slaughtered in their futile attempts to protect their families and children. Shops and houses were set on fire, and the people seeking shelter inside were hunted down and killed as they ran from the burning buildings. An infant wailed endlessly somewhere in the distance. A dark haired boy darted across the burning streets, two younger children in tow, making his way towards the college at the center of their once-quiet settlement. The college of Magic. Abruptly the wailing infant fell silent, and the three children shuddered to think of what that meant.

A loud crash brought forth a strangled sob from her throat. Until she realized it was only their cat. It made its way over and licked her bruised knuckles. “Hey, kitty cat”, she whispered, stroking its soft fur. The cat purred and rubbed against her, and she thought of how they had first found the kitten. Alone and lost in the middle of a fierce thunderstorm, it had taken shelter under his car, meowing piteously until they had found her. At first, he had insisted that they leave it outside in a box, and she had managed to convince him to let it spend the remainder of the stormy night in a corner of his house. The next day she had come home from work to find him fast asleep on the sofa, with the kitten curled up on his chest, also asleep. They had been nearly inseparable since.

She shook her head, as if trying to clear it, and rose up to put out some food for the cat. That’s when she saw the flowers he must have brought home that morning, and her heart ached. Everything was so confusing. How did things get to this? When did they stop laughing at shadows and chasing falling stars?

The boy managed to reach the college grounds undetected, and pulled his young charges inside the gate. Here he stopped to catch his breath, and the two children looked about themselves in awe. Civilians were generally not allowed inside the campus of the infamous college of magic. Though the Council maintained that it was for their own safety, rumor had it that some of the students and teachers at the college dabbled in.. more than just the white arts.

“Alistair, take Nova to Professor Edward. He should be at the top of the North Tower. If anyone stops you, show them this.” Saying so, the older boy pushed a small rock into the younger boy’s hands, even as the young girl looked on, startled. “Nova,” he started, and she backed away from him. “That’s not my name”, she whispered, her eyes locked on to the parchment he held in his hand. “Listen to me, Nova”, he said, louder than he had intended. And now it was Alistair’s turn to watch as she backed further away from the older boy. “We’re not going in without you”, she said, looking past him and into the fires scattered just outside the gates. The older boy looked upset, and bowed his head. But when he looked up again, he was smiling. That made Nova begin to cry, and that made Alistair want to cry as well. But he held on to the rock in his hand tighter instead, and grit his teeth to help fight back the unwelcome tears. “I’ll be alright, Princess”, the dark haired boy assured her, and taking two steps forward, he suddenly knelt in front of her. “Please take the scroll”, he said, head bowed and hand outstretched. Nova hesitated, then reached out and plucked the parchment from his fingers. He looked up and smiled, and asked her to dry her eyes.

To What End

If I could only see you
once every ten years
Not living to see them through
would be my only fear

I know it all seems a little
difficult to believe
I know I’m naught but trouble
every other week.

But that’s because you,
you alone are my thunderstorm
And I need your light and sound
to know that I belong.

And were you to ever be imprisoned
In any jail, or trapped in a jar,
Know that I’d come and save you
now matter how far you are

Because I need to soak in your intentions
I need to wallow in your name
I need you to come in to my kingdom
so I may follow you to where you reign

And if it took me ten whole years
Don’t worry, I’m the one
If darkness is what you needed
Love, I swear I’d take out the Sun.