Corpse of a Bonfire
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Anna, the first time I saw you it was not the raucous multicolored bloom of fireworks that ensued in my mind and heart but rather the stony, rusty click of a hundred thousand gears slowly clicking into place. I knew then, in the depths of my fingers and stomach, that you were to be my joy, my fear and my end.

The days and nights of endless possibility and infinite dreams had come to the natural stop that was demanded of it, gone were my fantasies of the rockstar romance, replaced with the dull sentence of fate and probability.

But that is not to put you down or to discredit you, oh Anna, for without you life would have been misery itself, distilled and pure, straight from the vine. You were the harbinger of my adulthood, the tombstone of my youth, and I still think about you every other minute.

You sat alone across a forest of tables, hanging rich with the fruit of conspiratorial cliques and carefree couples, but you were alone Anna, solitary on your branch. Another glance and I would have missed you, another second and one of the old pals would have distracted me, or rather I would have distracted them, with the pitter-patter of small talk necessary to stay sane.

But the gears were turning, and they were clicking into place, and a few doors had just closed on me and I was looking for one to open on me, to shine its embrace on me. I don’t know which of us was luckier, you or I, but the currents of chaos theory implemented in a hundred attendant at dinner brought me to your side.

We were like gazelles I think, congregating, nourishing and mating around an oasis. Or perhaps I was a hyena circling around starving, waiting to sink into you. Or perhaps you were a big-game hunter camouflaged as a palm tree waiting to skin my felt. Don’t press me, my head hurts and I am scarcely coherent, much less a poet.

And you smiled, that special smile that was insular and sincere and self-congratulatory all at once. The one that convinced me to keep coming back again and again, to see you wait for me to finish my meal before we both left together, evening after evening.

I have desired many, but I have never used the word love. It always caught at the back of my tongue, perhaps this is why people get rid of their tonsils.

I did not love your flesh, for compared to the dozens who twinkled before, you were lacking in stature and were a bit slighter on the sides. But by then, the bitter tang of repeated failures had conditioned me to be a lot less particular.

I just needed a shoulder.

I just needed a pair of feet to walk in step with me.

I wanted hair that flowed like a captive river, luscious locks to run my scrabbling fingers through, a cheek that was not stingy with taking kisses, and a neck that coyly bent at my touch.

You were my medicine, my lifebuoy and my salvation. You were the end of a long search, the end of discovery and my dissolution. You were Anna, and I thought I had you in my pocket.

But I grasped too greedily, too hard and like sand you slipped through the seams of my tightening fist.

I burn now, in my grief and in the fallout of the problems you told me to fix, and a hundred before you, all of whom I had blown off in my arrogance. I am in free-fall now, stupidly ecstatic and yet, living in a time that was, a time that is really the distorted reflection of the crooked mirror that is my mind, therefore a time that never really was.

There is no light at the end anymore, no next big thing for me to throw my lasso around to keep myself tethered to this stage play we all are conscripted in. I know you will not blame yourself, you are too smart for that. You probably have ceased to think of me by now.

I understand. But I wish I did not. It's alright, baby. Only, Anna, it would be so much easier if you would hold my hand like you used to, letting me murmur nonsense as our eyes glazed and gazed at the corpse of a bonfire.

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