Shrapnel in The Wound
To cut you out, to extract you from my mind, from my soul, would be to slay the spirit. Sword in hand, I would willingly slaughter those three graces: charm, beauty, grace… the memory of all that you are, and watch those dark crimson shades weave in the deep, lightless cracks of molten rock that are my mind presently. But to do so is to snuff out the candle lit with my last match. You give me no peace. Perhaps you take baleful pleasure in afflicting me. You have me between and betwixt your fingers.
The arch of your eyebrows, your coy smiles, your words double entendres, your throaty intonations, the way you cock your head to one side, the subtle curve of your lips. You keep lapping against my conscious like a tide hugs the shore, leaving when the moon beckons you back again. Everything about you is seduction, temptation.
You’re tormenting me like a restless, malicious spirit I can’t be rid of. You shall be an ever-present reminder of my cowardice, of my original nature long-lost and yet too, a beast discovered that’s forever concealed in me; one that hungers, thirsts, craves. God forgive me; thou shalt smite me down if I have been anything but human. Is it not human to seek warmth from the cold? To yearn for company? An open ear and heart? A kind word? Is it such a sin to want? To dream? Pray, my dreams have been the only thing to keep death from passing my threshold; still I have felt the frigid frost of its breath against my ear, warningly. But why should I fear this trespasser any longer?
Perhaps, it is I who has trespassed on this barren patch of time that is the Reaper’s. My life is damned, since my earliest memories, since my first movements. The first words I heard were offenses, slurs. My first experience of touch, thrashings. My recollections are haunted by the echoes of smashing irons, glass splintering into fragments reflecting different sides of this shattered life…cries, screams. Like vines about my feet, tripping me over, my past endeavors to sabotage me at every turn. I can’t be rid of it, no matter what holy water I’ve been baptized in, no hands in prayer, no words in tongues.
Grace won’t find me. Grace? What does it mean, O’ God? Since the day we split the womb, we were born to decay. From lust and passion and pain we arrive, from pain we depart. Perhaps my former self was mistaken. Perhaps there is nothing more than this. Perhaps it will always be this way.
I look at the populace around me. They moan of unfairness, that it is a crime to live life behind masks, to be unseen. Now they shall live as I have done my whole life, invisible to the masses. But nothing has changed, not even for them.
I dare say we’ve all worn masks, since the day our innocence heaved its final sigh of discontentment and left these dying vessels bestowed onto us. Forgive me if I wanted to sense the sensation of water on my parched lips in the desert and having risked the piercing of the cactus’s thorns to achieve it. Let me suffer slowly with these inflictions, but do not dare deprive me of its wetness, nor its nutrients. Let me have it but once. Let it not be a mirage. Let me experience happiness in one moment passing or permanent and say I have lived. But if it be passing, take pity. Let me pass from this world to the next thereafter.
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Beauty and the Beast
I think sometimes people are afraid of the ugly I’m capable of creating, and in truth, I love to create it just as much as I love to create what is beautiful. They’re not so different really, that’s what makes both so captivating for me. Both are uncommon, both demand attention. Both are capable of instilling fear in one’s heart. They can make you afraid to speak clearly, they can make you afraid to breathe, they can make you afraid to look…
But you’re compelled to look anyway. They are the world’s great truth-sayers, for they need no introduction, no fanfare, and how we respond to each is a reflection of our own souls. And that’s what is marvelous about the beauty and the beast; they’re two separate sides of the same moon. One bathed in light, the other immersed in shadow. Does not the detectable edge of the moon’s darkness against the night sky ensnare your attention just as much as the side that beams the sun’s glory? Yes, they both demand our attention just the same.
There’s just this: I’ve grown to love you. That’s all. There’s nothing more to say. I tried to pull the earliest saplings by their roots, kill it at its earliest sprouts, but it’s no use anymore. It’s grown into an evergreen that I can’t be rid of. So, have me or don’t. But if you shan’t have me, then take your axe without hesitancy, as I have not the strength to bear it, and cut all down that lay before us, or what little remains.
And please, don’t hack at it steadily, taking your leisurely time in the matter. Strike true, swiftly as a guillotine and let me not feel it again. Make me loathe you from the surface of my skin, to the marrow of my bones, so I won’t mourn the loss. That’s how a love dies. It never passes gracefully, unnoticeably, by God’s natural means. No. It’s smothered in its own bed and takes its last breaths slowly. We, my dear, are the murderers.
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Kind Lips & Kind Eyes
Kindness. Kindness has been the death of me. Kind lips, and kind eyes, warm hands and open arms. You will never know how deprived I’ve been of it. I’ve been naïve, foolhardy, seeping my thoughts and emotions like a vase with a leak; slowly the flowers inside wither. I was needy for your affectionate words, for your conversations as flora contorts itself to the extremity just to reach the sun’s light…yellow, gold as your hair.
Why do you suddenly ignore me? Do I bore you now? Was I nothing more than a trivial, fleeting fancy to pass vacant hours? If so, you’re cruel, a cruel beast to have toyed with your prey before killing it. When I saw your appearance, I was wary, assuming you to be like most with a pretty façade: cold, superficial, self-absorbed. You couldn’t have been more different. Our conversations led way for me to discover a man of sensitivity, of modest heart, of a caring disposition. I began to see you with open eyes so I thought.
What I perceived to be a benevolent soul made my pupils widen, my heart tender like a dove. I no longer saw this face of yours as a mask, but a transparent glass, showing the beauty within. I began to see all of you and like a sweeping poison sweet to the taste, I gave in. I went through my days with certain ease now and eagerness, looking forward to your next message. Was I a fool? Yes. When those sumptuous glances fell on me did I not feel a tinge of gratitude at your attentions? Your words so succulent to the ear. Did I not feel the slightest growth of my self-esteem, sensing that maybe, just perhaps I might be worthwhile? Perhaps you were truly well-intentioned, and you couldn’t have known how these things would affect me. How could you? And yet how could you not know I am human, that I’d bend? Yet still, I have not the willpower to hate you.
Tell me you’re happy in her company with sincerity in your gaze and you won’t hear of it again from me. Tell me and you won’t hear another word. But I must know. I must know it’s not as I suspect, that there’s not a hollowness in your heart that eats away at your being like rot in wood as it does me…that there’s not fear in we both that we’ve made a mistake, that we’ve somehow turned left instead of right at a turbulent crossroads in our lives. Tell me that I’ve been mistaken. Tell me you’ve been content this whole time and I’ll be the happier for it. That’s all I’ve ever wanted for you.
You, with eyes like precious jewels, with skin like ivory in winter, with a voice like honey and hair like gold silk. I knew right then I couldn’t afford you from the moment you first spoke. I knew from the moment I saw the tenderness in your heart, that I wasn’t enough. Perhaps in a former life, in my virgin youth, when my eyes glowed and sparkled and my character soft, pianissimo, fragile. Maybe then you would’ve had me. Maybe then? But we shall never know, will we?
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PS: These letters were initially posted on thepiningpoet.tumblr.com. They have been published on our ejournal with the author’s permission.
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