The Blood and Tears

Written by: Stuart Burns

I am shrouded in a black cloak,
Obscured by a dark cloud looming directly above me,
Engulfed by a swarm of livid, unrelenting atramentous hornets.
Through this thick, dense nebula of melancholy,
Faint flickers and flitters of wonderful, incandescent white light
Shine through, but these are all too infrequent and short-lived;
They are all too quickly tainted and swallowed up forever.

Each tear I shed is bittersweet.
Each one, in its own cruelly ironic fashion, always of its own design,
Reminds me of happiness I once had;
Each one always begins in the same way – 
Slowly welling up and brimming over my eyelid,
Perfectly formed, voluptuous little droplets,
Gleaming radiantly and gloriously ebullient.
They trickle slowly down the cold, marble contours of my face,
Following inscrutable, meandering paths,
Eventually dissipating and evaporating altogether,
Leaving only the faintest vestiges,
Indiscernible avenues laced with salt,
Yet ones which will eternally be wrought on my visage.

A cold, cruel and indifferent blade pressed against the icy alabaster of my inner arm
Forms a shallow valley.
I clench my teeth and the skin over my jaw tightens.
Drawing  the blade slowly across the bed causes a crimson spring to erupt from within,
Which quickly overflows into a regal red pool,
An implacable one which streams in every direction,
Consuming, devouring every piece of pallid, chalky marble it can reach.
My blood is truly alive.
I smirk as I imagine life cascading out of the open wound,
When, as if in obstinate defiance, the gushing subsides
And I become aware of the blood still coursing through my veins,
Sputtering, starting and stopping in perfect time with
The inevitable, rhythmic pumping of my heart.
My smile quickly fades.
I am foiled, still confined to this,
My own, ignominious, miserable life.
I sigh.
I begin again.

“Let the might of your compassion arise to bring a quick end to the flowing stream of the 
blood and tears” – Steve Vai