I feel like sharing this poem today.
Steel crane necks poke above the grass,
a congress of mechanical
apatosaurs holding vigil
against the gray October sky.
You followed truth and rumor here
to where the rusting bridge awaits
those desperate people, driven by
desire born not of lust but of
despair, and so under the bridge,
wait for the girl with feathers
in her hair.
She tells you – I will take your soul
so heavy with your black despair
and put it in my mouth, to keep
until the grain becomes a pearl
which you can crush, or keep, harmless,
displayed on velvet under glass,
and while the pearl grows, luminous
inside the dark, you’ll find yourself
above all this, in flight beyond
the reach of all that keeps you
on the ground.
So when she reaches out her hand
you take it without second thought –
to rise above the pain of life
is all, you know, you’ll ever want.
You meet her eyes, the color of
forgetting, and you start to rise
into the sky to soar above
the cares that drove you to this act
and with this pact you know your soul
is safe inside her mouth
‘til you return.
But now, a body with no soul,
you start to lose your memories,
and wonder what it was that drove
you to this blunt abandonment
of all you loved, and those who loved
you in return will never find
a shred of bone or peace of mind
now that you’re gone beyond recall.
Your last thought as you tread the sky
is that you’ve still got sorrow
The girl with feathers in her hair
and eyes the color of forgetting
moves her tongue in thoughtful circles,
smiles a cat’s smile at the darkness,
nods acknowledgement toward
the silent witnesses: crane necks
who do not speak, but if they could
would note the trade was fairly done.
She keeps the pearl as payment for
your flight, turns into shadow,
and is gone.