Short Prose – 300 Words – “Always, Never Lit” – Romanticism – 12/12/2020

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in association with the Film Department of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, will present ÒA Centennial Tribute to Bette DavisÓ on Thursday, May 1, at 8 p.m. in the AcademyÕs Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Hosted by Robert Osborne, the program will honor the legendary actress with an evening featuring clips of her indelible screen performances as well as onstage discussions with several of her colleagues, friends and family, including Joan Leslie, James Woods, Kathryn Sermak, Gena Rowlands, and DavisÕs son, Michael Merrill. Pictured: Bette Davis as she appears in JEZEBEL, 1938.

How many tears can I hold, in arms, that do not carry the future? I cannot even carry the present forward, for I hold the blame in me. I hold the scars close, the present watered from my eyes, with the blue seas around my feet. Land is so far away. Same with daylight.

Though, the night?

The realm where each thing becomes so bright, encased by the sheer suddenness of what it represents. A coffin. One plug that was pulled, for a life, that had sung songs from its once-beating heart. An encasement, for a tangle of limbs, yet straightened by the funeral home. A house for open burials, where tears released from cheeks, like leaves from bent boughs. It is Autumn, somewhere, though the night shows chapters of winter.

Brightness, and encased, in that box. What it represents is a thing now unplugged, of a life, lowered into the empty space. A void, or a spot where trees are meant to grow. They still loose their leaves, the same as decay falls from the wilting carcass.

How did she last? How does she still remain? I no longer hold her, nor see the pitiable eyes that stared to me. She faces the dust of an eternity, without. No longer a dream may haunt her, as no more a heart can keep her awake.

I buried what I once threw a vow, forward to. I let go of something that never released. This room disturbs me, what with walls brandished in porcelain darkness. The corners threaten me, scorn me, ridicule the nothingness of me. Is there anything left to berate? A brokenness of damage, with life curtailing about its open volumes. Just chapters left to be remembered, of a fuse stayed to be extinguished.