i. you don’t remember often. but when you do, it’s the ocean, always the ocean. but not wrathful, tempestuous waves crashing and wrecking and destroying-no. just the cool, the calm. it’s the only calm there is in that tripwire brain of yours, the only calm you can hold on to. you clutch it in a death-grip.
(it’s funny, though-you don’t remember ever being to the beach before. then again, you don’t remember anything.)
ii. your mouth tastes like rust and your knuckles burn. the words ring in your ears like the shrill screech of metal against metal, carving into the air, carving into your skin. you turn and you run and you only stumble once. the air smells like asphalt and choked screams.
iii. soft rays of light hit the surface of the water and pool in green where there should be gold, but it feels more right than it has ever been in a long time.
iv. a name spills from his lips and latches onto your ribs. you are standing there and you are looking at him but you are also seeing a boy, slumped in a back alley with blood-stained teeth and bruises in full bloom; and charcoal-stained fingers tapping against the windowsill back in a room in a home in a place in a memory that feels so far away you think it’s a dream; and a smile like the brooklyn sunrise except it was for you; and a boy, this boy: with sun-streaked hair and oceans for eyes.
v. you remember him. you remember, you remember, you remember, and now it feels like maybe you never forgot.
dust is blowing in your face. you’re lying, facing upwards, on the cold ground. you laugh.
your heart hurts, and you realize this might have been all for nothing. you realize you might have lost the fight before it even started.
your bones splinter
(and isn’t that ironic? in these dying moments, you feel alive)
you pray to ares. your breath is threatening to leave your lungs, but you need to know. you need to know this wasn’t all for nothing
(but this is war, what did you expect?)
can you hear them? warriors just like you, their soulless cries echoing through eternity -
what are you still doing here? why don’t you follow them?
(maybe you are different after all, you and them)
the war is not over and you are not done
(your heart still hasn’t broken your ribs after all)
Please don’t apologize
for the oxygen your lungs take
or the carbon they make.
The elements by which you are powered
and of which you are made
and which you take and remake,
melt down, reforge,
in the furnace beneath your ribs –
these are given to you freely,
a love letter from the ancient stars,
and each of your exhalations
is a heartfelt reply:
Yes, I hear you.
Yes, I am yours.
And your breath feeds the green,
and your flesh feeds the earth,
and your light feeds mine,
fills this space, makes me shine.
So breathe deep. Breathe slow.
You have stories to tell.
You are one with the cosmos,
and you are well.
there is no beauty within him. his laughs are as empty as his bottles, his chest heaving with something more akin to a wheeze. you scoff as you see him and yet -
yet you long to taste the blood and the smoke on his lips, to chase away the darkness from his wild soul, to calm his mind
he pulls you along with him, shows you his future grave and tells you there is no more death after death. he smiles but even now his lips are tilted downward
he is a paradox you cannot decrypt. you do not know if you want to.
he puts a cigarette to your lips and tells you to experience death and you know that this is your downfall because he is everything. you liken him to a wilting flower and for the first time in forever, his face softens and he tells you that you remind him of someone he once knew.
he holds up a bottle and comes up to you on shaking knees. his eyes are glossed over and he smiles an insincere smile.
he whispers words against your damp skin and you hate him. you hate him so much you have to shut your eyes and hold your breath and clench your fists and -
you love him. he is a paradox you cannot decrypt. you do not want to.
you, apollo, were never the perfect man.
your light always burning too bright, your heart beating too hard,
fighting too much for things that did not concern you, praying too loudly for people you didn’t know
as you stood with the stars in the bright night sky, dionysus for once was still
you could never stay too far from chaos, and he could never stay too far from you, his heart long since taking it’s place in your palm
you were his world, love. he was not yours.
he loved you like the sun loved the moon, like the trees loved time, fell asleep with promises of the world on his tongue
you whispered prayers into his skin, begging for forgiveness from someone who was not there
(and wasn’t that ironic? the great apollo, brought to his knees by a drunk)
you, apollo, were never the perfect man;
so walk away, love
(and may the bridges you burn light your way)