Who can judge the weight of friendship’s passing?
Who the weight of need?
If I demand that someone (anyone) hold me
Whom do I exclude in the holding?
Who do I free?
Tell me your secrets, you say.
Will you keep them safe?
Will you keep them any safer than I have?
Will you change my life?
Will you shift my world with your song,
Its simple melodies setting continents on a crash course?
The first thing is, this is not a practice round.
There is no rubber that can conceal the knife-edge of the sword I wield.
The most important thing is, people can get hurt.
The reach of an extended hand of greeting can backfire into a backhanded slap.
Bruises linger long after the handprints have disappeared.
There is no safety net wide enough to banish all fears.
The span of my arms is not large enough to block out the world.
Words are the only beings that lie under my power.
They themselves are shifting creatures, reticent and often far too harsh against the soul.
There is nothing real that will obey my command.
There is nothing real that does not mock me now.
I spin out yarns into an immense quilt of quicksilver
shot through with the torn petals of a tortured poet.
‘Leave the light burning,’ I once said.
Give me a lighthouse to show me a safe path through the sea.
Give me a piece of your heart that cannot be returned when it becomes inconvenient.
Lift the stones that block my own light
so that there is something to mark your passing when you have gone on.
Make me a promise I can hold you to.
If nothing else, hold me until I am able to walk by myself.
We define the bounds of friendship very carefully and they are crossed nonetheless.
We allow ourselves to cross them because we believe ourselves to be safe.
We believe that friendship cannot rip us to shreds like everything else can (and has).
Believe what you want to believe.
This is how it really went down.
This is how the world ends
not with a fistfight but with a whimper gone unanswered.
© Copyright 2016 Shekina. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Literary Fiction
Poem / Poetry
Poem / Other
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