She slowly uncoiled her gray streaked hair that fell to her waist. She removed her
spectacles to see more clearly the windswept icy snow clinging to the branches. A
pause, settling something deep within; then her gaze shifted to me.
I reached out, but found my reach was frozen, too stiff to touch her. For if I touched
her, the burden we shared would lapse and slide away, slinking off to be buried,
uncoiled under the ground.
A pinched, dour expression settled her features into a mask that would never
betray the inner darkness which created a shadow of an existence. A mask that I
must wear as well, to ward off the hopeless life within me, growing every moment of
the day, days upon days retreating into the too long nights, hopeless to survive in
the world we have created, together as “want” and “ruthlessness”.
“I carry no idolatries, no false hope.” A breath are these words as I receive them,
knowing they are too bold to give forth a safe humility.
The nurse, starched clothing as stiff as her countenance, paused, a look of
condemnation briefly shadowing her face, the sun passing in and out of the clouds.
She could not help herself. No matter the role we are chosen to play in this world,
we are not free of a deeply flawed human nature, ice softening dangerously on a
winter’s pond. I turned away.
I came to hours later, the rejected life in me gone, a searing through flesh never
immune to a free will taunting, tearing the fabric of life so fragile. I would not cling. A
passing briefly witnessed, a single brown leaf blown by the window in the darkened
room where we sit for tea, hopes slowly elapsing like the softened sands of dunes
Tomorrow we can only envision; today we must let go of a part of us we will never
again possess. A coursing through the veins of life no more, we push, and push, an
existence wishing to sink into the yawning chasm of what is unknown and coming