April 30, 2016

Like Lead Into the Sea

Away from selfish tongues of flame lies the sea.
Curled against one another on the deck, we watch the dark tides
From the warmth of generations-old blankets
Which smell of their years spent in the cramped safety of closets
And by the humble flicker of the fireplace.

Inside we lie by shelves full of floats and trinkets
From years of beachcombing,
Of treading down distant coasts in the wind and rain
And feeling the might of the ocean.
Some of the shells hold the echoes of screams from dying mariners,
Screams born from lungs aching for home
But consigned to drown in the fathoms below.
Some of the glass floats hold the glints of ancient lighthouses
That once blazed through the slanting raindrops of menacing storms.
Some of the bottles hold the memories of messages.
The cries of love and freedom from countries far away
Have travelled the vastness of the world
And the overpowering currents of time;
Here they stand collected.

We could walk the shadowy forests by the river,
Which promise the gateways to other kingdoms.
We could lie on the starlit dunes
To feel the earth turn beneath our backs.
Instead we linger here, in the quiet of the night,
Where the cabinets are stocked with favorite mugs
And the warmth seeps into our bones.
The night passes slowly, and we speak only simple words.
A candle twinkles on the counter;
The ocean trickles into the hollows of our conversation,
And eventually,
Into the softness of our silence.

Now we have kindled the quiet
That will saturate every pause
And cool every boiling reminiscence
For the remainder of our years.

Feeling raw, we watch our skins ripple on the tides,
Wonder for how long we must mend ourselves,
Wonder if our dimples and creases will grow back the same.

April 29, 2016

One Damn Thing the Phoenix Never Had

Perhaps now, with the constellations no longer tracing our pasts,
With our bloodlines no longer fusing the stars
And pumping memory through the dust of galaxies,
Perhaps now, in the crushing glow of suns and nebulas
And the burning force of all the universe,
In the reverence commanded by the most ancient red giants
That lie slumbering in the farthest reaches of Time, 
Perhaps now we can realize how dimly we truly burned.
Perhaps we can begin the search for fire outside ourselves,
Fire which burns hotter and purer but does not consume.

Let Prometheus slumber with the rest of them,
For we have found fire outside the peaks of Olympus;
We have climbed the hill for the last time and left our boulders behind.

Ash

A last spark, a last promise,
A twinkle of light transcending color and form,
Piercing the diamond haze that blinds us and cuts us,
Melting the cowardly hues that coat our grasping words –
A last spark,
Blistering the skin of our spirits,
Purging the thought of ourselves from ourselves,
Twisting the corners of our mouths into the silent smiles of memory,
A last spark –
And then, ash.

We have set ourselves ablaze
To feel the charring of our flesh,
And instead we have felt the charring of our souls.
We lie in the embers of ourselves and wonder:
What could burn brighter than we have burned?