I have struggled a thousand thousand hours, through lands of craggy icicles jutting upwards like greedy claws, climbed mountains of dark, viscous, amber without a foothold and fallen into chasms of endless cacophony.

 

Only my future carries me forward. A future of clarity, intellect and unexplainable obsession. This future emerges amidst a shimmering horizon… gaining intelligibility as I stagger through the blazing heat, feet twisting in the soft, liquid sand.

 

My muse is no longer with me, lost many leagues ago in a fury of separation.

 

I am truly alone.

 

            

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"She Wants Me No Longer"

© Peter Stone 2021

In the desolation, a beautiful, fiery ghost, surrounded by a whirlwind of burning sand, flits past my vision. She caresses my skin with the softness of a biting desert sand storm, so hot my burning flesh feels frozen. Then she starts to dance away as my tattered, torn hands reach greedily for the core of her being. She is burning water through my fingers, stripping my essence down to powder white bone.

 

            I have caught her before, with whispers of myth and echoes of story, with promises of innocence, the laughter of a small boy and the witticisms of knowledge, but this time my lover has been infected by horror, doubt and fear. I cannot save her.

 

Her dance is only for herself and I cannot join…her movements are dark and horrible, like the scalding breath of a black dragon. Beautiful ebony swirls tangled into a moving black glass sculpture, each moment a fiery image of imagined passion.

 

            A sadness as deep as a dying sun’s spirit permeates the enigmatic woman before me. I long to affect her, sustain her with the calmness of my cool heart, but the tearing current of pain sweeps her farther and farther away until she fades again into the panorama of the bland visage of desert.

 

 She is lost and makes no effort to be saved. My pleas of desperate hope are meaningless to her. She has become a spirit of loss, of suffering and of pain. Only those things can comfort her…

 

She does not wait for me in this fearful new land. She, like me, is forever alone.

 

            I would throw myself before her, to be torn to shreds by her, lost forever in the whirlwind of confusion and destruction she exists in. I fear this place not at all. My painful desire for her lost soul, her fever-struck body, would destroy my world and I would exalt in its destruction.

 

            Her contempt for my sacrifice drives me forward, searching with bleary eyes and senseless fingertips for the searing pain that comes with her skin. The desert sand blocks my remaining vision as she changes shape and form constantly in the distance.

 

For a moment, I remember.

 

I remember a flash of flaxen sand teasing my desire and a familiar smell cascading over me like a waterfall of liberation. The sparkle of a blue bird hidden in a thicket of fair grasses.

 

I remember her promised future filled with long, slow moments and quick, desperate gasps. I recall the tasks set before me, the precious offerings laid at her feet with hopes of a smooth curve, a distant shore of cold, snowy air made warm by my desperately trepidatious intimacy.

 

I long for the journey through spectacular, ancient ruins made dangerous by blood-thirsty invaders.

 

I revel in the joyous rescue of organic, laughing jewels held captive by slavering monsters.

 

I weep uncontrollably as living hieroglyphs perform a story of such contained and hidden agony that only a titanic apocalypse could end it.

 

In my fantasies, I would endure the Norse Snake of the world’s end, Jormungandr, poisoning the sky itself before I slay him. In my dreams, I stagger nine paces to her final kiss before collapsing at her feet, poisoned to my death by her tormentor.

 

I wish all of this and more.

 

Still and forever, I am hers.

 

But she wants me no longer.

 

She made a pact with the fire-demons to protect her and her kind. In return, she lives in this land of drought without the touch of a human and feasts on parched offerings and silent prayers but never allowing love to remain in the swirling crystallized substance that was once her humanity…her softness…her perfect hips…the cascade of her fragrant breath.

 

The desert storm offers me a final view of her and I weep and beg for the honor to save her. She scoffs at my request and burns me with her vehement words of hatred and anger. She lives alone amidst the heat and cracked skin, perhaps not even remembering cold water on her once beautiful, soft and moist but now parched lips.

 

I promise her a cool ocean paradise.

 

But we are both truly alone in the same arid wilderness, doomed to angry thirst for the past.

 

            And so we trudge onward with lonely steps…