rose-colored glasses: a poem

 

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her hands shake.

it’s not the first thing you’d notice,

but it’s the kind of habit that you begin to wonder about

when you take her hand in yours,

and she’s trembling, and you take her wine glass and

maybe she’s just a little drunk, but no,

the sun’s just rising,

and it’s just rose-colored water,

or perhaps something more sinister;

either way, you cannot help but greet the day

by pressing her up against the wall,

letting the glass fall unbidden to the floor,

and it shatters, the scent of blood thick on her breath,

but it’s only, you find, because she’s bitten her lips raw,

and, oh, she must love the taste, love it as she’ll never love you –

and you can taste that on her, too,

the way she tenses under you,

the manner in which she pulls away a second or two too soon,

and then you kneel before her, your knees scraping against the broken glass and

your blood mingles with hers and

it’s not all right and it never will be,

but maybe, just maybe,

she’ll lie with you tonight,

if only to lick the bloody tears from your eyes as you mourn

what could have been.

her hands will be steady as she wraps them ‘round your throat

and that’ll be the last thing you ever notice about her, the world, and all,

save for maybe a passing thought about how there are no stars in her eyes, now,

though you’d swear they were there, earlier.

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Alexandria

 

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Nighttime is the sweetest of all sorrows, rose petals – soft, supple, silken – shattering upon impact with some greater force, becoming bitter and brittle in the instant before it comes time to face the music of their fall.

A cigarette being lit in a back alley somewhere near the city of Alexandria, all while the ancient regime crumbles, and another empire upon which the sun will never set rises from its ashes.

Time, time; the fire in which we burn, cigarette smoke curling in thin circles around our lips, obscuring the words we meant to say and leaving only those we’d rather have left unspoken.

Time, time – be mine.

Alexandria burnt, and no phoenix rose to take her place.

Our fate will be no different – time, scattering us upon the winds of fate, ashes to ashes; dust to dust.

Our destinies diverged the moment we entered stage-right, but in the end, we’re all appointed to meet pale death in Samara, or some other city whose name used to be some kind of parable for life, but is now only remembered as the site of a spectacular graveyard; the place a great battle was fought, and lost.

Genesis

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I come from the forest

Where dreams go to die,

And the smell of loam,
Deep and dark,

 

Disguises our every secret;
Where the silence,

Impenetrable as the fortress along the shore

Where impossible wishes spawn,

Swallows every sound.

Devil May Cry

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The Prince of Hell was wearing a crown of thorns,

And the fruits of the tree had similarly fallen, ripe and round and ready,

Upon the fertile soil of an Eden in sublime abandon,

And Lucifer’s heart, hollow by day,

Had drunk deeply of the dusk light

In a world upon which the sun never set,

But now, as night bled into day,

He wondered how to strike his devil’s bargain with the unmerciful clock,

Contemplated why so many philosophers

Had wondered how many angels can dance upon the head of a pin,

When it was so clear to him

That he was the only one who would ever be made to do so;

“The Devil made me do it,”

He’d say, delirious,

As another night passed,
Dreamlessly.

Dawn Light, Dawn Bright

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Glorious daybreak,

And the city lay shining in the distance,

Further inland,

Miles from these golden shores,

Draped in the finery of dawn’s light –

Blindingly, beseechingly bright.

 

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crystalline

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I can see in you

That this night brings about the sweetest of sorrows,

The clouds of our breath

Forming halos ‘round our lips;

They are there one moment,

And gone the next,

This fleeting thing we call peace;

It, too, is there, then gone;

It, too, flares and fades,

Crystals forming, faltering;

Falling.

Youth

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I can think of no better metaphor

Than the glorifying sun

Yielding to the inkwell of the night

At the end of everything;

Time – such a cruel mistress –

Finally running out,

The sand in the hourglass

Surrendering the last of itself

At the journey’s end;

And, at long last, it was over.