darkness engulfs me in waves of emotion, the largest
share won by loneliness. the birthday candles are out.
the cake, six feet under. celebrations, asunder. and me
– I’m on the path to a throbbing self-hate. it rained that
day, as it does always rain in September, and I lit a fire.
solely, if not only, for the unwashed hope of scrubbing
the smell of darkness off my tarnished body. it did not
work. the fire – the fire – it betrayed me. its amber gaze
and golden core wraps me around its flimsy, faded fin
-gers. strands of flame reaching out and backing away
as if in hesitation. just like the slippery strands of time
that I have left behind. and it’s almost, almost as if the
cursed thing knows – a touch signals warmth, distance
means the end – unless you’re a fire, then it means the
exact opposite of it all.
the sobbing skies hide an element of surprise. almost
missing the dwindling light, I heard the fire surmise – I
must not be in my right mind. I do not offer that which
my fellow companions abide. my power is but capped
by the fragile candle’s expanse. I am only a forget-me-
not in a sea of sunflowers. both by name and by a last
wish. I cannot tear down the effects of a drizzle, much
less a flood. my value lies only in the narrative of time.
I am not the one you call upon to save the day. I surely
can’t be the one to love you the same way. the warmth
I provide is enough, but only for one. the one who goes
insisting on lighting me up over. and over. and now the
realization of my inability to look past my own shadow
hits. mirages of dancing reflections make me suspect
my own doubt. does it truly matter that I can’t fight the