A past echo reads the eulogy,

traced backed two years to hope’s precipice,

convinced of the promise offered by a faulty parachute.

The pilot threw their hands up at the wheel,

led the crew off at the boarding dock,

watching at a distance debris cannot reach.

Ask any beating heart and the story’s all the same:

human nature is a tainted garden we pretend to never pick from,

trusting the next passenger to properly tend to their duties

until all responsibility has sailed off any reason.

I read the cues set up on every mask,

flashing disappointment over the closest faces,

tipping over any support I had like dominoes off a mountain top,

the pieces slipping through my fingers as I dive to save a voice

before my anchors drift too far below,

and only ripples resonate when I start floating away.

Trust any history and the fables play on repeat:

Blame and fault wrote the books that consider our condition,

penned by the hands that warn others not to trust

but to trust in phrases set from a detached high-above.

The words on every page form a shovel in my grip,

fingers digging as drills to unearth departed friends,

yelling at the relics of past lives.

If our troubles were predetermined and not all of us see the obstacle,

did you leave an echo behind knowing I’d never belay without losing slack?

If we’ve been cursed since molded by the fabric of predisposition,

did you identify faulty machinery and let me sort myself out

when the only tools I had were a hammer and a fistful of nails?

And if our every story was written by the same nature we’re taught to mistrust,

who’s to say it’s not my fault for not seeing signs clear enough,

sucking dry the lighthouse light to secure my wayward drifting

off into the dark,

stubbornly afloat,

but not a single lantern to embrace.

Drifting aimlessly in a perpetual calm

softly spoken in tones of palpable unease.

Judas coasts by on a battered raft, the wooden planks creaking out an obituary.

Ask a traitor’s heart and the answer is unwavering:

whoever’s on the losing end is the one to forever bend,

acceding to the beck and call of the victor,

and no further phrase is written,

the subtle splash of a collapsing vessel a lackluster eulogy.

In the reflection of the surface, I see disciples and outcasts

bleeding into gray,

shifting when I blink,

morphing again if I look away,

and I am just like them.

Deposit my debris as the Roman turncoat,

for whatever footprint is left in the headstone relies on your nature.

I lie at the mercy of those at a distance,

but never knowing if I pushed them away or they shoved me from the dock.

( ❤ Mitch)

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