October 2019

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On some level, I've known since I met you. Technically since before I met you. Maybe since the night with the storm, but maybe before that. It's something in the way the tension never fully leaves your hands.

- - - - -

A murder of crows litter winter-bare branches and I search for familiar constellations. The sky melts into my eyelashes as snowfall merges with stars. Silence fractures against the wings of an exodus, but the tree still raises its arms, now empty.

- - - - -

If you lie still enough, you hear your heart beating, your blood moving. Still enough, still awake, you imagine stepping outside of time. When you check your watch and see 4.01am, seemingly hours after 4am, you start to believe you have that power.

- - - - -

You are a cathedral pipe organ, lungs reaching into vaulted ceilings. I am dust gathered in the leaded corners of stained glass windows. We bear equal witness to hope and emptiness, gently cradling strangers' lost prayers. 

- - - - -

The girl in the mirror with bruised eyes and bloody knuckles was never a demon  or an angel. She was lost. She didn't expect anything from anyone, not even me, but she saved my life more than once. We're friends now. She isn't scared anymore.

- - - - -

Your is perfume salt water, child of the tides. Your arms are beckoning adventure, surrender, and your rage is wild torment, temptation and promise. But your depths are still, dark, and blessed with quietly wandering mysteries.

- - - - -

The whole street decorates for Halloween, but my next door neighbour has a special talent. He's so modest about it too. It's adorable. I told him the bones on his lawn looked so real, so human, and he couldn't even meet my eye when he thanked me.

- - - - -

A step might as well be a mile, or a thousand. A moment, a year, or a lifetime. Anything less than a head-on collision, too far. Soles dark with the ashes of burned bridges, now cold. Still walking, not looking back, but mourning lost lovers. 

- - - - -

Out here you can almost let go and trust that someone will still be walking beside you. A mist of rain clings to street and skin, and your breathing slows and deepens.

- - - - -

Life taught me to hold my breath like a pearl diver. Good things come to those who wait, but more precious things are pulled to the surface by those who search. Celebrate the treasure, but don't forget the depths or the strength of your lungs.

- - - - -

There are worse ways I could've done it, but I resisted temptation. Not for his benefit, but to keep my conscience clear. One shot and done. I won't pretend it wasn't personal, but I could've enjoyed it more. I didn't let myself. I'm not him.

- - - - -

Nothing disturbs the darkness out here. It rolls pure from the mountains, sinks into the sand and holds me, safe and secure. This looks like a place where lost souls might wander, but it isn't. It's a place to be found, to be free.

- - - - -

You always said I had control issues and maybe you were right. I can't live without you. I never believed in ghosts, but I can feel you watching me work on the machine. I'm getting there. This time, it'll happen. This time I'll bring you back.

- - - - -

A few storeys up it's all glass and seamless metal, but down here dirt finds cracks to settle in and no-one bothers to wash it away. At night, it all looks the same anyway and there's a promise in the echoes of strangers' footsteps.

- - - - -

No-one's invincible and you don't get strong by accident. Whatever hit you that made you learn to fight also left you cold, but you're going to get past it. Not everything is going to hurt you. Not everyone is going to let you down. You're going to be OK.

- - - - -

No fear of the cellar, the attic, dark corners or shadows flickering in empty rooms. My ghosts linger in threats of hands that will never be clean and a mind that will never be still. I'm a burden to these demons and they pray to be rid of me.

- - - - -

"Does it hurt?" I ask.

"Oh yes," she says, "but it's worth it."

"How long do I have? Centuries?"

"No, only decades. Not nearly long enough, so make the most of it."

"What should I do?"

"As much as you can. Now, get ready. It's time to be alive."

- - - - -

Oh, it was a cliche, but the loveliest moments often are. You threw a punch, I caught your fist in my hand, an inch from my face. Our eyes met. Time froze. Blah blah blah. But I dug your grave yesterday and I don't leave anything unfinished. 

- - - - -

He's all, "I'm a creature of the night," and, "I'm an eternal one," like it matters. You know what? He needs to get his shit together. The novelty of drinking blood and self-indulgent pining for centuries past loses its shine pretty quickly.

- - - - -

Your body still warm, your heart's last beat still in the palm of my hand. No breath on my neck, but your voice in my ear.

Your last drifting whisper. "You shouldn't have done that."

My victorious smile. "You shouldn't have deserved it."

- - - - -

She used to collect feathers and she loved them all the same. Raven, gull, starling or finch, all were freedom when she had none. As her chosen moment drew close, she burned her treasure. He awoke to her absence and the cold remains of a small fire. 

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