It Was What Wasn’t, and is What it is Not

Fleeing light darts out of a moment.

A flash instantly integrates into history,

having captured shifting time on memory’s copper plate.


I rush to seize what attempts to disappear.

I stab at seconds with ink,

fervently hoping the emotion will dry,

for the sun will never hit your eyes as it did then,

and I cannot bear to lose more of what you were.


Clock hands chirp out desperation.

Once a grand plain of all things possible spanned from minute to second,

now minimized to the reality of brevity,

a dull tone the closing call at a shaded corner.

The chairs will never find the same position.


The conversation is a dance where steps are improvised,

the blocking an investigation into the meaning of touch

and the feeling of the sound of delicate phrases;

that which fiction have imbued with the weight of affirmation.


Evenings alone in the mirror’s glow helped rehearse the perfect lines,

straightening speech to match the idyllic view of youth,

marching into cold lakes and skipping trespassing signs as a birthright,

the consequence inconsequential.


Evenings alone erected a tall figure luminous with confidence.

Trading the reflection for the affection of a spirit that recedes into collapsing seconds,

I’m hunched over,

my arms to myself,

pressing organs together as if to squeeze out the thoughts

or to hold them in,

using fragility as a collaged solution to insecurity.

Alone in togetherness,

I’m laden with thundering nerves,

and practiced poetry lacks lips to leap from.


I will to motion but find no movement to inspire,

my fingers drumming incessantly at my sides,

hoping that anxiety will learn morse code and tap out what I can never say;

that if I could articulate my thoughts this day,

I know your flickering hair will fade,

and never again will this room see it as it were,

and never again will I know it as it were,

for a breath is ever and always temporary as time,

making the fluctuation of emotion a foregone finale.


I could confess it now,

knowing all too well how interior design functions,

though when challenged with cue cards on blank expressions,

the uneasy mind is quick to retreat to the cold it dwells in.


I travel in new steps through days,

through months,

through years,

in different ways and places,

yet I wear the shoes that stood in a quiet second.

I stab at the surface with ink.

I want what I leave behind to mean something in time.

( ❤ Mitch)

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