Three hands linked,
three hands blinked out the last of the sun
from beneath the trees while the breeze
stumbled against the eyes of a black bird,
a raven, a crow.
As if breezes were strong enough
to dismantle Life;—
sometimes he thought they were.
Especially when she lay beside him
asleep under the canopy of vines.

Strength of her kind (unearthed)
comes from the water.
Its darkness riveting,
whirling in the surreal moonshine
that dusts the salty sky.

Maybe, if she continues to sleep,
he’ll slip into the dark depths
under the rivets of rain that have
begun to break the surface of the water
just over there, not even a dozen feet away.

The descent to the strand though,
reeks of winter-lilies and hollowed out
bones unused to bearing,
to holding and nourishing heat.
And the cold is seeping under his skin.

Down to the depths of buried kings
he wanders, wondering what the skin
of water will break in him when
he pierces the surface of its warbled,
tumbled out dreams.
Maybe the screams of the broken-
hearted the old grave-diggers often hear.

Don’t, he whispers in his mind.
Don’t begin to doubt.
Not here.
But doubt is, right now, his one companion.

Except her, he reminds himself.
But her blue-veined eyelids seal everything in.
And he is left to his own devices,
the vices of alternate lives he has lived
and shed, to begin again, a new and different man.

But that’s just it. He is no man.
She is no woman.
They are what they’ve always been, —
Light and shadow and dream.
Three. Always three.

The third, an eye beneath the skins they
share and alchemize. Materialized in the blackbirds
that warble the depths of clay into
which he is about to bury his last,
most recent and hard-to-let-go-of incarnation.

Before she stirs, before the winds
break up his determination,
he must, he knows, let go.
Or he may never release this
tantalizing obsession he has now, with Life.

©2010–2023: Zoëtrope in Words. All rights reserved.