I’ve awakened—in the dark of night I search for you.
All I have is your name and memories. They will have to do.
I’ve never told you why it had to end.
In my dizziness I felt the swirling motion of our space and I was losing myself in its current. In my weakness I felt the encumbering notion of my own mortality and I was lost in the certainty of that final breath. I wanted to walk in the sand and although I wanted to walk there with you, I knew your place was beneath the ivory arch far from the waves I called home.
You knew me in my strength and you were there as it all fell away.
I had to be alone, I had to fight this thing on my own terms, in my own way, either to the death or to the life. I could not hear your words, your solemn prayers, your tempered judgments. I could not focus on their meaning or their desire.
It was all so dizzy, so fragile, so hopelessly finite.
So I had to push. I not only pushed you away but propelled myself into the fray of a lifetime’s recovery.
I stumbled alone. I fell alone. I picked myself up alone and I suffered in complete silence. I could not let you know how much I missed you, how strongly I held onto the ideal that true love would always win and that when I could finally stand on my own again I’d see you standing there through the mist of shattered waves.
True love surely won the day and I stand here alone with memories crowding the broken night in which a dream reminded me of a smile, of a laugh, of a once-certain destiny. I’ve awoken to the truth of your haunted disappointment—in my blindness you were all I could see, but in my sight you had all but disappeared. In my sleep you are real, but in my reality you are nothing but a distant memory.
I want to believe that when you hold your lover’s hand it is mine you feel. I want to believe that as he kisses your lips, it is my face you hold within your hands. I so want to believe this lie, but in my silence I know I lie to no one but myself.
The darkness tells me the truth. The light reminds me of it. I am nothing but a liar’s son.
Good night, again, I think. I’ll see you soon, I’m sure. I’ll hear those liberated moans through the orange-tinted candlelight once again. I’ll climb those rounded stairs again, this time not needing your shoulder to lean on as I climb. I’ll forget the moment of my fall and carry you to your altar as a man strong again. You’ll feel my power reborn and you’ll remember who I am.
Yes, a silly man am I, lamenting the natural course of things.
I smile in your progress, in your ability to move on, in your joyful forgetting of the man who fell before you. I can decide to honor my sorrow with utter joy and bless my happiness with a tinge of that sadness that losing you creates. There is nothing wrong with such an act.
It is all love, my dear, working a magic spell upon the unenlightened.
It seems I’ve lost my horns and with them the place my halo sat. I can’t remember who lost the compass as we sailed our surly sea, but I’m sure that when I find my horns and adjust my halo to its proper place, I’ll find the compass too.
Something tells me I lost them near the footlocker at the end of your bed, misplacing them as I stumbled to the hall not knowing I’d never be the same again.
Silly is the man who thinks his wings were only meant to help him fly.
Sometimes, they’re just for holy decoration, unique talking points that bring silence to a contentious discussion. I used to pluck a feather to tickle that space between your legs, remember? Laugh as I know you will but you know I’ll be there forever.
Really, now, goodnight again. I think I f*cking need some sleep. Maybe.
Author: Tom Grasso
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock