A Cave Called “Hope”

She sat alone in her cave, her back against the curved wall.

She had been living out among the surrounding woods for years and years, playing amongst the trees, being friends with the small animals that shared her space, drinking from the clean rain that fell. She had been at peace in the woods that towered protection over her and gave her what she needed to live. She had never feared its shadows or howling animal calls. She knew these woods loved her and kept her safe.

But now she sat in the damp cave, away from the woods, her dress in tatters and her provisions in a dwindling pile besides her. Hard rain fell outside. She watched the water stream down the stone walls to form muddy puddles on the ground at the cave’s entrance. This was her home now.

She sat silent and unmoving, thinking back to the day she had been drawn out from the woods.

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Unafraid Two

I am not afraid
To step through
Into the blazing light,
To leave a life of shadows
That taught me to fear day.

But this darkness I called home
Will not fade so easily.
It’ll try to clutch me as its prize,
And stay behind waiting
While I manage to flee.

And sometimes I’ll want to stay
And I’ll seek out the shadows once more,
My home that for so long,
Made up what was me.

But I will kiss its black mouth,
Smooth my hand down its sleek skin,
One last time,
And turn to join night’s sworn enemy.

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Crank the Night

She revved the engine and looked out into the night. The tangle of neon-lit streets spreading out before her seemed to gather at the end of her vision into one single, brilliant point. Finally, she thought, I’ll make it there.

All her life inside the city walls she had been waiting for her keys, for her car, for the ruler who people said was in charge to say, “Go!” But he had never said that word to her; he had never spoken to her at all. So she had decided to find a way out herself, going throughout the confines of the kingdom to barter for a car, to forge its keys, to take one step closer to the outer perimeter, and then another, to see how far she could go before the ruler interfered. She had gotten everything she needed, and he had never tried to stop her. She took that to mean he did not mind much if she left.

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On a Ledge

He stood nervously on the ledge, his hands flung back to grip the steel railing. It was winter, and he could feel the skin on his fingers stick to the metal. But the cold didn’t matter. He had finally gathered the courage to come out here to the very edge, and all that was left was to take the final step forward. He looked down to the street below. There was no one there. It was just him and the silver light of the stars.

He inched forward so that only the soles of his bare feet remained on the cement. He leaned forward and felt his chest expand at the stretch. He squeezed his hands tighter around the railing. He closed his eyes and breathed in deeply, wanting to feel the cold air flow through his body and into his lungs as slowly as possible. He wanted to feel everything, for once in his life.

One more breath, he thought. One more breath, and then one last step. One more breath, and then…

“Patrick,” a woman’s voice said.

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A Sad Case

http://art-dali.com
 “Rock ‘n Roll” Salvador Dali, 1957 (http://art-dali.com

Stretch out my arms
To meet your gaze
Bring our distance close
To find our meeting end.

I reach for your face
As you reach for my throat
There’s no greater sound
Than my words left unsaid.

Our twisting bodies twist,
Together,
And away.
Find our meaning in the way
You never let me see your face.

Together,
Then away,
Through the “nowhere else to be”,
Familiarity beats out courage
In a wasted land of space.
We’re stuck in this same town,
Same music,
Drinking the same drink,
Filling the same cemeteries,
At the end of our days.

Do not let me go,
Or I will fall away.

I fall away
At your gaze,
At your voice,
At your skin touching mine.
I fall away at every word you’ve ever said.

Stretch out my arms to chain you by my side.
You wanted to leave — I let you —
But now you’re here for my name
You choke out in endless echoes.

Together,
Then away,
Through the “time has ceased to be”.
I return to our courage-less bars,
Our courage-less songs,
Our frequented cemeteries.
Bury me beneath your ground.

I fall away
At your name,
At your face,
At your eyes slicing mine.
I fall away at every word you’ve ever said.

Stretch out my arms
To morph your body into mine.
Forever I’ll choke on your fist down my throat.
Tell me you don’t love me, just one more time,
And I’ll fall away at every word you’ve never said.

In the State We’re In, We’ll Not Go Far

In the state we’re in, we’ll not go far.
In the state we’re in, we may not make it till tomorrow.

The streets narrow the closer we get to their end.
The rivers lose their rushing the nearer we come to their edge.
The wolves come out to play (for them) and to devour (for us).
In the state we’re in, we’ll not make it past this night.

But we’ll try, simply because we will not go back.
We’ll try; we’ll fight. We’ll chase the moon around the earth as long as it will lead us.

The answers we once knew fly off us as we run forward, like leaves being stripped off branches in violent wind. Once defining arrows now curve into never-ending circles. Once clear-cut lines now smudge and dissolve into eraser dust. This is the state we’re in.

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Lie down in Darkness: In which I sleep at peace

There is a figure lurking by the window.
There is a mist scrolling in through the cracks in the wall.

I lie down and close my eyes.

There is a shuffling coming from behind the door.
There is a banging sounding from the ceiling.

I press my hands against my ears.

I feel cold against my skin.
I feel a shadow on my lips.

I flinch and try to move away, but I’m already on my back.

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