Prose – Excerpt – “The Aging Flame” – Romance – 8/24/2020

Can he wait? Can he satiate a thirst that continues to mark his lips with the dryness of salt? In that, he is holding onto the ocean. He is washing himself in her running suds. A love as glorious as the only-believed infinity of the universe, becoming finite just when we comprehend life cannot go with it. What love in the world? It is eternal. What of life? It is never immortal.

A look. A frenzy. A love that hungers, and one that never strays far from youth. It is him, this old man, whose wife is of a similar age. Gray strands peek in at their roots, and fold over her face.

She is dying.

She is a web of closed sighs, and fallen breaths. She is losing her life, moment by precious moment, while his hands are latched upon her own. Just a breath that exits a pair of her repeatedly-kissed lips, once every minute. Another pair, of his own, is pressed against her palm every two minutes.

She is for the gray love. This is a sunless pair. A spectacle of radiant flame beneath the clouds. In love, in only the blue bliss of their extended vows to heavenly entrances, makes the two.

Oh, love! Do not die. You will suffocate us, if we count the breaths until you let us go.

He is there to console himself. The rest of all, denies. The birds upon ledges to windows outside of here, and the passersby, all mock the overtones of gray. They do so, by ignoring it. Gray skin. Gray eyes. Gray hair. Gray clothes. Gray shoes. Yet, a heart of gold is shining somewhere. Of them both, it is true this gold is here, and her beauty has not died.

What breath will go so soon? What beating of a heart will end so quickly? Will he notice it gone, should he blink?