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.

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…

Dreaming of the Past

One night, I dreamed a dream of paradise
and now there is nothing I can do to forget
I wake in the guilt of sins that are not mine
unreleased from this adopted regret

And even my oldest comrade now lies blue
In this world of sleeplessness’ solitude
So cold in the sky, so distant and cruel
But, always, mine, and forever, true

Like the color of someone’s eyes
when he turned to look into mine
on a moonlit winter evening
lost, now, in space and time

Let me in, I whisper quietly
But there’s no one left to hear my plea
The cold chased away all those memories
Like goldfishes swimming off to sea..

Always

It isn’t always the memories
that undo you late at night
Sometimes it’s only a feeling,
an absence of some near-divine light
Sometimes it is a number plate,
when the numbers add up to a name
Or a person stands up to be who you were,
and you avert your eyes in shame

It’s knowing that you’re growing
and that things must be left behind
That you are only a stranger
lost somewhere in the threads of time
And it’s paying the cost of life
in memories not yet made
It’s holding on to the hope
that some things can still be saved

For in the depths of something unstoppable
always tugging at my soul
You were the first hand to grab mine
and burn through all the cold
And I know you haven’t cared
for quite a long long time
But I’ll never forget that moment
when I first learned that I was still alive

And if I could have just one thing,
I don’t know if it would be you
But I remember the shade of your eyes
better than you ever could
It’s because I’ve seen the light in them
And it’s a light I can’t unsee
So, if it comes to a choice between us,
even my darkness could never choose me.

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.

Molten

I cannot hold you in my hands anymore
Flowing out of my veins, like lava in flames
Shining like an intense ocean of red and gold
if I choose to burn, is it not only I who is to blame?

Though sometimes I still dream of that very first time
That my ice-cold soul felt the burn of your skin
Around your fingers, you wrapped my reeling mind
Leaving my edges on steam, and my core, molten.

And you should know I’ve been melting ever since
First in cracks that trickled, then in streams that screamed
And I wonder if you ever truly were the lost prince
Or simply a lord from some nightmarish tale I once dreamed.

My love, how can I follow you any further into this night?
When I know not the way through the depths of your mind
I set out following the treacherous moon and its light
Only to leave myself somewhere too far behind.

And now the embers falling from my skin
from all the places we have touched
are all I have to light my way of sin
Not enough, but always too much

I like to believe I’ll catch up with you sometime
Before going up in flames, or melting out of sight
And if being too weak to help you was my only crime
Then I hope at least my pyre provides you with light.

 

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.

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.

Storms and Cottages

He woke up with a start upon hearing the heavy wooden door to the cottage swing open, drenched in sweat, and his hair all disheveled, yet instinctively reaching out for the sword. Before remembering that he had lent it to her.

It was hers in the first place, said a niggling voice at the back of his mind.

“It’s just me”, she whispered to him, the quietness of the cottage hidden away from the snowstorm outside suddenly too much to bear. Her eyes drifted to his slowly healing bruises and he looked away, scowling. He waited until she had knelt by the fire to stoke it before risking another glance at her. She appeared alright, he thought, as she placed the sword beside the door.

It was much too large for her anyway.

“Why are you smiling?”, she asked, curious. He blinked at her blankly for a second, before giving her a curt nod and gingerly laying himself down again, even as she turned to unpack the medicinal herbs and plants that she had been out collecting, wary yet hopeful that they would suffice.

“Did you run into any trouble?”, he asked, and her hands shook as she remembered the horrors of a nearby village she had stumbled upon, terrorized by a pack of vicious dogs, and their even crueler masters. They had followed her into the forest,barking and laughing as she had stumbled along with the village’s orphans. A year ago, they would have hunted her down and killed her, laughing as their beasts tore her apart. But the year had been a long one, and it had changed her.

Her voice was steady when she turned to answer him, “Just some hungry dogs. But I took care of it.”

The smile on her face was a new one.

One that hadn’t been there before. And he didn’t know what it meant.

Nevertheless, he nodded in a way she had begun to interpret as relieved, and in turn, she was glad that the darkening evening kept the blood spattered sword hidden from his sight. At least until she had had the time to polish it, and feel the sharp edge of its steel, light against her skin. Just once more, and then she would return it.

She was only its guardian. It was time to let go.

He watched her gaze drift to the sword by the door, eyes full of emotions he couldn’t begin to decode. He wondered if she had been living by this underground lake for the entire year that she had been missing. He thought of telling her how he had looked for her. How far and low he had searched. How desperately he had hoped and prayed.. How hollow everything in the world had suddenly seemed to be. How he had learnt what it meant to be drowning in despair, feeling insanity clambering on to the sides of his mind; the absence of her, a raw wound that never learned to heal.

But he was not the same.

And, neither was she.

By choosing exile, by choosing this, by leaving when the war broke out, she had made a choice. Abandoning him, but also saving him from having to make any sort of choice himself. They would have never trusted him as long as she was around. Her hair was too wild, and her skin wasn’t pale enough. She would never be one of them. He would have had to make a choice..

“I can mend your weapon, you know”, he said quietly, and watched as she whirled around to face him, body taut and disbelieving, eyes boring into his, searching him for any sign of deception, or doubt.

He showed none.

“You”, she whispered. “You can fix Estel?”

He nodded, then pushed himself off the bed, swaying as his feet hit the ground. She rushed forward, her small cold hands reaching around him, steadying him as he gritted his teeth and shook his head. The Winter had hit him hard. He would need some time to recover before going ahead with his plans.

He glanced down at her worried expression, before letting his eyes drift to where her pale hands rested against his bruised skin, causing her to blush and look away. He leaned forward and closed his eyes, taking in the scent of the forest from her hair and clothes, trying to figure out where exactly they were, and how he would get them out of there. His eyes snapped open and fixed themselves on hers as he smelt the blood on her clothes, not her own, and that on her scratched and swollen wrist, her own.

She looked back at him in a confused mixture of fear and raw, aching desire.

“I can fix Estel”, he said.