xiv. Burn

July 30, 2011

I burned her.

I set her alight
and watched the flames rise
and the smoke curl.

I watched her skin blister,
her hair crinkle
and her smile turn to ashes.

At first it felt extreme
but once the photos were gone,
I began to feel a weight lifting.

I felt the curtain being pulled back
and the shadows start to fade
so I carried on.

Next, I threw her clothes on the flames
and for a moment her fragrance filled the room
before the smoke thickened.

A black tower rose up
from the waste paper bin
in the middle of the living room.

Thick black smoke,
the colour of my heart,
caressed the ceiling.

Before long, I had burned it all:
photos, clothes, DVDs, gifts;
I’d even thrown her favourite mug on the flames.

But somehow,
memories of her lingered on;
she refused to be forgotten.

I realised that a part of her
still lived inside me,
that as long as I loved her, she’d never let go.

So there was only one thing for it;
I had one last thing to burn,
one last thing to cleanse of her.

I felt the flames beckoning me,
urging me to finish the job,
and so I gave in to them.

I jumped on the flames
and the last thing I saw before my soul was consumed
was her.

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xii. After the Fire

March 20, 2011

The rain came.
It calmed the flames
and washed away the ashes
that remained.
It softened the contours
of the ruins left behind.

The rain brings with it
silence.
A kind of quiet
falls.
The rumble of thunder
where hours before
the rumble of fire
had roared;
the patter of raindrops
where hours before
the crackle of flames
had scored the scene.

The rain
is a blanket
that falls on the ground
and covers the land
and masks the contours.
In the rain
every jagged edge is blunted,
every corner dulled.
In the rain
everything is softened,
silenced,
swept away.

The rain washes
down walls;
the black of
charred wood and brick
running to the ground
forming burnt puddles
that soak into the street,
eventually fading away.

The rain washes
down walls
and washes
down faces
of those that look on.
Their tears are carried
to the ground,
forming wretched puddles
that disappear,
drowned
by the downpour.

The rain
carries the ashes away,
it hushes the roar
of the fire’s rage,
it blunts the edges
torn by violent flames
and washes the
tears of the watchers
away.

The rain stopped.
In the midst of the streams
that rippled
and shimmered
the ruins stood damp
and were you to look
you would never guess
that just hours before,
these fragile bones
had been so much more.
You’d never guess that
just hours before,
the rumble of fire
had roared through
its core.
But

The rain,
however heavy,
however cold,
however hard,
cannot wash away the pain
they feel inside.
The sorrow stains them
in a way that rain
cannot remove.
Their tears are gone,
just like the ash has gone,
but the pain,
cannot be soothed.

xxxv. Smile

February 27, 2011

Dragging out of that hole,
The shell of a man that never was;
Showing to the world,
A face that has never known truth;
Has never felt the breeze of reality.
Scars on scars on fettered skin,
All smoothed over with the lies,
Of a happiness forged in fire.
Where do we take ourselves to die,
When here in the shadows –
In the crevices of the world –
Is where we live?