Flash Fiction Piece – “What Use is Belittlement?” – 3/1/2023

I keep grieving on that last word, hoping that meteors will reverse themselves. Or that an eclipse will bring back its former light. Or that a tidal wave would not have crashed to topple a tower – that tower, the one where we were unified. Being held upright, because there was a desire to be as close as possible to stars. Instead, eyes were brought down, falling to pathways called scars. Burying everything inside, finding futility in everlasting joy. All familiarity upended itself upon everything somehow destined to keep going – if only to hear a heart at that last word, matching it with a final heartbeat.

Who heard us? Screams were whispers. Traded answers were given more questions, as those once-endeared had been deserted upon oceans that never teemed with life. Closure was merciful, or it merely cleaned off a written page I should have taken to, to relieve you, to let you go from these dirtying arms. I was responsible for all, to relieve that which confined you. I brought you up, for though we were unified at that tower, I was that tower.

My legs, here being crippled, are kneeling to this result, this emptiness. For what are stars but a white, blank page; and what is darkness of space besides another bewildering absence?

Lasting until a morning burned itself on our foreheads, and I refused to let you know. I refused to let you go, while you had already closed your eyes. You were deaf to feeling, while I was blind to what you were hearing. You were hearing another call, while I clung onto a single word that you ignored. Perhaps purposefully? It might be with purpose, as all you held onto was another word I could not tell had always been your truer fulfillment.

Flash Fiction Piece – “Everything to Her Obliviousness” – 2/27/2023

I re-envisioned someone in a different state. A new world. Another pathway. She drew herself back into collapse, as all things, all memories would fade in her shadow. I drew her in, I carried her home. Many times, I brought her into open arms. Would they close? Would they ever truly close? I embraced an icicle. It wouldn’t melt, as arms were nothing but that which she confirmed as only to her familiarity. To her, arms would leave. To her, arms would dissipate, like fog before sunlight rises. It had been for sunlight to also leave. For fog remained, whether with or without sun, and she stood there not ever concealing anything.

I loved, for what I could know. Whereas she blanketed her mind in an emptiness that gave her grace. To step across feeble places, to find herself trapped; as that was, to her, something of a reminder. As memories faded, they’d return at the simplest gesture – of a pair of arms that were open, like gates or a broken dam, and she’d run to that sight. She’d run, take in, and soon find herself mourning before anything ever began.

She’d bleed from wide-open veins, of a color identical to a sunset. While nothing would rise to meet her lips, driven as taste of something bitter, while all to realize would be what falls. To crimson, to fire in rays of a distant, disappearing warmth, all of that falls to kiss her feet, to remind her of something that begs. For what? For what knows its own inevitability. To be inadequate. To be insufficient. To be faulted, like all human matter of flesh that breaks, that wilts, that grows old, though she won’t subside to that. She won’t embrace, because she won’t close chapter after bleak and somber chapter. She won’t close booklets of musical notes, of those that speak her grief to stars that are received with her blindness. She won’t see light, as it makes its presence, since despite a rising sun being also inevitable, she’ll only close that day to remind her of what fell.

To her feet, from her eyes, and back again. To her heart, from damaged recollections, and forward again to repeat itself.

Flash Fiction Piece – “A Pinnacle of Negligence” – 2/27/2023

It was a display. A sight. A sight that had nothing for me to see, for that’s what it was. An absence. Neglect. What did she neglect? All of me, from all of her. A part of her had been torn open wide, by love, than for what love did upon me. I felt its sting. To love, I felt shelter creeping in, though rain kept pouring in. To her, that shelter was a crater. A hole dug inside pure earth, for that would be her grave. Though, there’d be no one around to fill that space.

A neglect, she dealt upon me, as she left without a word to recede back even further into that same crater, that same space. It had been because whether to love, or to her loneliness, all dug areas were like graves, or pits of darkness where all to kiss for her was death. Death has room, as it must be, because she made use of it. All once-emptied corners, of a perfect circle, were replaced with decor to her liking. While none of it conveyed itself as light, she dwelt there, displayed as someone who fights fragility with fragility. Her delicate nature, as it appears to me, withholds. She withdraws herself back to feeling as numb as a corpse might be imagined to be. Lost, directionless, and phantasmal. Passing through, though not letting go. Finding space, setting herself into a place to call home, though nothing stays.

A word. One solid word, to describe her, and I could call that to be, “Fallen”. That word. One dismal word. A fatal singular from a strip of vocabulary that detaches itself perhaps from all motes of intellectualism; though, it must be accurate! Who finds her? Nothing but the dark, of a woman who entered in through me to nurture herself in sameness. She was the same as when alone, in love, with me. With me, with no one, and she fell upon this heart of mine like it was paper. Insecure. Insincere. Unsurprising.

Flash Fiction – “Clogged within Throats” – 1/11/2023

At whose presence? Was he to live? Was he to stay living? For a woman born, and also scorned. She was left to a place, inside fatal ruins, becoming and living for that fatality. He came through, entered through, and brought forth all he could not leave for merely himself. A promise. A gift. Some notion, an answer, for safety that became transparent, held in an undertow, and brought into her dimming hands. To himself, a puddle of rancid water. To her, for her, a stream of gleaming, ruby wine. As red as through bitterness that decorated her life, for he identified with a struggle he had nothing to do with. Though, to become part of it, to be merged in all its confusion, made him central to her benefit. She longed, while he stretched his long arms to take hold and bring close what she simply kept confined.

All that ran from her eyes, puddling around her feet and devouring her stance; to it, he mentioned it, aloud, in words that carried across through those ruins of her soul, “I fled what could have been forever my home. A place, I once found comfort in, and I could have remained there. Although, in that realm, I would lose nothing. Inside of it, I cannot have found myself to be living.”

To her eyes, he found himself identified. He says this, with a gesture to her chin to raise it higher to his stare, his glance that glimmers within view of a thin rays of light from a penetrating sun, “We are both surviving. Surviving for something. Who comes first, might I ask, to be that one, first in line, to love, to seek, and to cherish?”

She did not hear him. However, she saw him. A man whose mind reveals being irreversible to come ever closer to what he, in this convolution, this volatile mode of direction, and who has constructed this maddening den of heartbeats; and for that sight, she expressed her language, “Love has me remembering, not wanting. I cannot endeavor to hear you, after I have seen you. You have come from somewhere far, not someplace that had been close.”

Here are two roses left to drift, to sway and to dance in unpredictable winds. Should a storm develop about their desolate and embracing forms, they’ll try not to cry. They’ll bite down on their flesh, if it means to keep themselves from weeping. If desperation fuels their touch, they’ll touch all the more if to know more about why they’ve become the waves of oceans that feud with each other over the tallest wave. Over the most rapid of tides, or over the smallest of messages that are left inside bottles, written with words motivated by intoxicating transparency and solacing honesty.

“Another Mirror, Another Enemy” – Novel Excerpt

A grave. Open and wide, like a mother’s arms. Water comes in from pouring rain, filling up that gap, as the soil absorbs nothing. He sees the scenery in me, the mirror. The mirror, another one of them, although there is only one of me in this corner of Dan’s room. Only one of me that never leaves. Here, he admires me, or he remembers himself. Scenery gets further shaped from all he recognizes, in himself, in those cracks in his complexion that cannot be damage done to the glass.

He discarded his coat because he was cold, to walk over to rediscover a corner for familiar warmth. I witness intrusions lodged like shrapnel in his echoing soul. Unremovable shrapnel stuck there, like an incurable sickness. If he’ll heal, he will do it in forgetfulness. For who remembers anything, after their death? Who remembers death? Don’t people remember life?

I see a man looking at foggy scenery, mourning before a grave meant for him. His name on a headstone, while no others are nearby. He can be counted. He will be remembered, while he’ll forget his own history whenever he takes that dive.

Flash Fiction – “Every other Soldier” – 300 words – 9/28/2022

She tells my pain to wait. As if water can fall after I’ve twisted a knob to a faucet. This heart, twisted, knotted in its infinite veins, spread like tree roots to an age of a tree that has already fallen.

These eyes have gained flashes. All those empty rooms, filled with one more hollow scream for measured ceilings. They were meant for a measureless sky. They were with rain dances performed in minds that waited until their own bouquets had wilted, pleading for raindrops when needing sunlight.

What can I requisition for a love that falls behind? Whose bullet can I dodge when an ending has been written, on pages soaked with tears that never quenched me? Not one word spilled will bring relief. Not one sigh can flip my story’s back cover closed. For I cannot close these eyes, without seeing her world on fire.

Entertained by laughter. Saved by madness. These hands tremble under this weight of an absence I hold close with all those phantoms. Their limbs pass through, with their path to embrace me finding a different way. How does she know this? Telling me that a pain must wait, for another day that will end another life. A noose already creeps up my shoulders. A hand has already turned my body around to face those fuses, those sparks, able to ignite a future to be identical with my history. I want to hear her words, from a different mouth. I wish to see her tears be lifted from a different well, without such contamination.

I walk on, having clouds overhead with rays of light aiming light like sniper rifles for both sides of my temples. To both sides where forgiveness can come, or it can be repressed, when we pray with a sadness, inside, to never revive, or we beg for it to be blanketed with soil above those dead.

Flash Fiction – “In the Gray of every Day” – 600 words – 9/28/2022

Herein lies a crippled horse. He struggles to find a way to walk. Tears have left him burning on a slope that moves his eyes always down. Why will he always look down? To feet that never move him. To scars that never leave him. They are remade to be ripples within hardening soil, though he stays at a land’s peak never comforted from either sunlight or from a soft breeze. Here, he has been cemented to stay. In this spot of a desolate world, shadows have replaced brushes while humid or frigid air has taken the place of any wildlife’s breath.

One step will bring him walking backwards.

Although, a cliff, displayed before him, compels a foresight of his motivation.

A winter has frozen over his soul, blanketing him in a comfort of cessation. One more pebble to toss overboard, into an ocean that has been recreated. This has been done more times than he has counted grains on an unseen shore. This has been done more times than stains have been set into his skin. With those recreated ripples, he can sense his memories. He can sense his eyes, his feet, that carry both his mind and body on a backwards trail. A backwards walk and view, of one that has lassoed his limbs to a crippled horse. A crippled horse that neighs, though has been beaten into a death-like, dream-like state. A carrier for an isolated form that wants to retreat.

Shards of his heart are strewn around. Everywhere, from a bereavement that has loosened contents from storms. All his wishes have melted with unfelt heat or have become unrecognizable ice statues in a more recognizable winter.

Love keeps him salient. Holy. As a man with bruises, scars, and a heart that leaks into an ocean like redrafted clouds, worded over with touches of his forsaken flesh.

Every now and then, his eyes dart upwards to a sky full of light. He notices a sun he cannot look at. He feels raindrops he often mistakes for his tears. To light, or to a sadness that engulfs him when he stands on a cliff praying for hours. To a soul that he hopes will come loosened from clouds to fall in his outstretched arms. To a beauty whose heart has been torn away and has torn open his own, letting flows out to grow nothing but coral and reefs deep in a sea that holds not his reflection. For a beauty whose hair bleeds forth its singular color in every shadow that twists and snakes in wind-sculpted sands. His hands pray, though his arms are reaching for a greenery from remembered eyes that he swears appear in all scents and tastes during when he thirsts.

Despite this risk forward, he will forever steady his stride moving backwards to a hailstorm, to a punishment of rain that falls to dance into becoming serpentine trickles running from his shoulders. All this deceptive outcome, where he stays to pray for a deity to turn around from where it turned its divine back. All for a form to come falling, as any raindrop, to his burning arms. They are longing, while being long, for a nimble form to come back as another echo from one of his many screams.

Despite this risk forward to keep his heart torn open to wind, love waits. It waits to keep itself floating on a lifeboat, of one that has no oars, though will be guided by wind in a random direction. He hopes, beyond a recurring numbness, that it will find its way past disguised lighthouses of suns that were fated to burn out, to crash within his arms and find its way to his heart’s bottom.

Flash Fiction – 400 words – “A Link and the Step” – 6/27/2022

Love remains a fire, roaring in a man’s heart. One long look runs out towards a feeble horizon much like a rope. A rope, a link from one journey to its never-ending stay. He can see that sun falling. It falls, as one tears can, patient upon its place to his cheek. Those tears do fall, walking another type of journey to have no other purpose, other than to feed unnoticed seeds.

At a ground where he digs a layman’s grave, he waits until he can see no more. No light will be wanted by him to re-enter. A sadness makes his hands fold together, while heat has dragged a rush of wind through green upon trees.

His face becomes that eclipse for a coming moon. He wants no light. All on his mind will remain that focus to a third hand, once held in his own, where balance remained a providing companion. Once a warmth bloomed in his soul. Now when fire moves and dances in his heart, its licking tendrils are cold. He faces all earth at his feet, like stepping onto a wintery cloak upon grass. A moving heartbeat, though nothing generates it, to him. Nothing besides undeserved life, at this final hour he whispers a scornful prayer to that intruding moon.

He waits for his eyes to shut, for darkness to become his permanent company. A sun drawing itself over with blankets and a quilt to conceal itself of light. This man walked. This man kept his heart motioning to a journey to be lost. Here, he loses himself, at that sting of love, beguiled by nothing other than humanity’s familiar absence.

At some next second, he captures his memories in a few droplets of rain to see within that faint puddle, cornered within creases in his fingers. Still with few rays of illumination to see what resembles a solid grief, inside that bitter liquid.

Another second to look up at a world of his own, painful to be his own, though still his own. If his eyes close, remain closed, a morning will come. It will set dew, not tears, on his face to warm away that pain. If for another second to be crude to his grief, another day will resemble another leaf for new words. New words, with other fates to steal to this man’s presence with hands not cupping his tears, not reaching for an invisible palm, and not embedded in dark.

Flash Fiction – “Broken Eyes and Nonsense” – 500 words – 6/11/2022

Life comes in ripples. Satisfaction arrives in miniature; it has been said to her, while any evidence had never been whole. In this monarchy of her ways, she gloats without true glow. She taunts an image inside her mirror without always looking its direction. She sees herself. She knows herself, simply as too spirited. A woman of better means, without anything meaningful.

If she might ever have a taste of life, truer life than what she has lived to her current times, she will spit its contents back out. She will chew on it, withdraw that velvet, smooth taste from within it, though will fling them back out from where she analyzed them. She retains curiosity. She disposes of what resembles imperfection.

One man had walked her way. He took her hand. He led her. She led him astray.

She tortured his eyes into white, while his heart fused with his soul as both burned black. He lost himself in her, while she found something to take, while he resided as both stranger and a stagnant friend. There had been nothing to develop out of it. This connection stopped as a fuse to a cannon will, while an army still approaches. It can be noted she still waits for this army. Some advice once given to her, “satisfaction arrives in miniature”, and she offered thought to those words. She offered this thought during occasions she missed marks. Satisfaction. Can it be boring? Can life offer more? Only more? More of what? More of those same intakes, it might be.

Bone dry. Callous. Whereas, wanting. She desires a truth, where others are patient on that arrival. In life, enough patience will tell you to keep hopeful while maintaining that wait. Enough waiting will grant a person nothing.

Her mind, all composed of a rock within rapids, where all things of twigs and farewelled leaves float by. To this woman, those objects are as those clouds hanging in midair, like ravens on nooses. Nothing gets itself absorbed into her, without leaking back out. She sees herself in a mirror, constructed out of oils and dryness. A sliding side on one end, with everything deserted on its other.

At a second of her sensing something truthful, she turns around to see herself in another mirror. She has turned around to find a direction she missed. One opportunity filled with color, while she decides on that as deceit. She turns back to see her image, complicated in status. She recognizes tears falling to smear her reflection into disarray. She sees herself, lets tears fall to a mirror. For that mirror has been placed at her feet. A standing mirror that does not stand. Tears smear her reflection into disarray. An order she knows.

She stays as this. Uncertainty. Tiredness. Broken eyes leaking their inherent disarrangement onto a bitter reflection, worn through. What nonsense of being. What a mask that ties her into a hardened bundle.

Flash Fiction – 250 words – “The Jealous Bird” – Modern Romanticism – 4/30/2022

He held her at arm’s length, counting his feathers. Softness around him. Eyes of an eagle, the beak of an ancient pterodactyl. All to see, with all to bite from flesh. With all those things he saw, he saw himself to swiftly bring close her life in a sharp cancellation.

Their romance, a feud with blood. Bottles lingering in corners. Smokes were all theirs, while the sedation remained never enough. Their faces turned to see sunlight, while soon looking away. Blinding to them, it remained. All their hopes, drowned in a bottle where had been locked one ocean to drink from. A cork to another that had been those largest he tossed at the wall. Staring at broken pieces linger on their floor like this relationship, in all of itself.

He bandages his eyes in knowing she caused it. His suffering. To blame, with her. Although he saw his reflection of evidence to madness, as pieces of his mind, as piece of those bottles he threw, and tears welled in those vacant, disturbed eyes to be ignored.

Jealousy of an eagle in a parakeet’s cage. She had freedom. For him, that recurs as his thought. Storming on, to laugh and laugh even more. Laughing on, to cry and cry no more. Bleeding on, to worship all those wounds that from broken bottles, and his fractured mind, and this termination of a relationship that wept itself to sleep, nothing rehearses itself. He had walked off, condemning her to dust.

Short Story – “The Fate of Farewells” – Chapter I – Modern Romanticism – 4/24/2022


For Sickness, for Shame

The time has come. The time did come. When bedsheets are folded over as pages of a Bible, turning to scriptures written to the weight of loss in the heaviness of the physical copy; and the water comes to take the end away. The sun rose, and then it was destined to fall when a woman, once an infant girl, laid in her own mother’s arms in the sweetest comfort and cornered by the warmest eyes. Water did come from that stare to take the end, the pain, away.

While she grew, she was given a fate to end unwell. Doctors were to be her reaper, while nurses stayed around her as groundskeepers. In her adulthood, she has a husband. That man is hurling anger, a stage of a time under the same directed fate, towards the reaper, to death, to the fate that should have never arrived.

He walks up to one of them, to say, “I cannot conform with this! Why isn’t there something more to be done?”

The doctor, the reaper, the last effort before a tear can fall to a burial of a body says, “There is not anything more to be done. I am sorry.”

The apology does not reach the husband. Instead, he says that to himself, aloud, and audibly to the doctor, “I am sorry.” It was so to himself, in him looking away from the doctor to the window where if looking beyond, one can see the wife. However, the reflection of himself, covered in a shade darker than mother earth, smothers the attempt to see his love.

His glance hangs a moment longer, tilting his neck an inch lower as if to swing there, under the depth to his coming depression, as though predicting it. He lets a tear fall. An autumn leaf that loses its home in the balance of a tree branch, coming to its odd serenity of decay among the collection of others to its likeness. A relief of words are the ones to come forth from his lips, “I repeat, I apologize,” talking to his reflection, instead of his beloved. He continues with, “You are the only hideous thing in this place full of white and too much emptiness. There will be too much to wait for, and still too much to go on without.”

He walks closer to his own reflection, leaving the doctor to say to a nurse standing nearby, “I will let him have his time.”

His walk stumbles, while he shambles forward as though afraid of what he notices. If in not seeing his wife, though himself, there is blame. There could, not only to himself, though to his wife, be the same level of blame. He says to the reflection, “Someone, or something, must leave from this picture, this fragile and miserable-looking appearance before me.”

Her bed, a cradle. Her eyes, wanting.

A wife in her mid-thirties. Disease has traveled the course of her form, leaving it drying itself of life, with the drought siphoning all the water out. This time, the waves will be hard to come by. They are, to the doctor’s field of vision and professionalism, an impossible task to any attempt to cure the ailment. If the nurses remain as groundskeepers, she should be pronounced as dead, if left up to the husband’s comprehension. To hospice, would she go there? To be comforted by nothing except for the thrill of a life left up to by this somber degree of fate, as that would repeat the era of no consolation. Nothing but tears await such a destination. What kisses would be genuine?

In pain, in ruins, and in thinnest disregard to a dying soul, here stands a man unable to see beyond the curtain of faceless flesh before his eyes. He runs a long glance to his face, one that has been carved there, to see a drafted stain. An incomplete version of a man without a form of his own. A stranger.

Whenever he should pull back the curtain, he would notice a garden. A garden of briars and thorns, wilting even under the wash of photosynthesis from a springtime sun. Nothing grows from her. Nothing grows from himself. To pull the curtain back would reveal no difference between the two sights. Himself or her, there can be nothing more to this than strangers looking at each other in the same casket, though for the fear of the sight, cannot open their eyes.

If he noticed her, he would not see beauty.

No rose can be conferred in the light of what will be lost, to become the token of remembrance in everything remaining. To him, all that would remain is an empty vase.

An empty lane without the steps to walk along, for only he would remain to himself. Pain holds him, here, closer than anything else that has embraced his form. He bleeds closer to himself, than to her. Cruelly suffering for himself, and without much to identify with her for, despite the lack of difference to either. In his reflection, in noticing himself, a monster stares back to snarl at him. A fanged beast, cloaked in ebony fur, digging daggers from his eyes to puncture both man’s lungs. It is a monster he recognizes.

It is himself he lacks recognition for.

In his plight of disillusion, he states, “If I could ridicule what I see, it would go through. It would go through to her, to who is dying in her breath, her darkening vision, among everything else that holds plague to her flesh. To whom? Who? Who is she, anymore?”

Novel: “Heaven Never Denies” – Chapter 1: “Buried in the Closet”

Head on the pillow. Her head in his arms, here daydreaming of the days when he would do that.

When he would hold her, the rain fell upwards from her eyes. When he would hold her, the stars were only ever beneath herself. Far beneath, she had been held, as she now is stretched across a bed as though painted of the longest streak. Far above, he had and still does look down upon her, though now of all days, his rain is coming to caress her cheeks. His rain is coming to find her upon the dry earth, when she should take to her passing.

As all I have is you, aching in this heart that twists in its knotting veins and arteries, you still exist without wanting to go. Such embracing thoughts. From the mind to her mouth, she says, “Where are you, now? In Heaven, with the stars, with other faces you are happy with? My love, are you somewhere comfortable?”

I used to be somewhere comfortable.

I used to be somewhere I thought was a slice of Heaven. It was you, as it is still you, driving rain into me from within this beating heart.

She raises herself, like a corpse becoming awakened, from the bed where she is sprawled. Like a pencil that has written multiple verse, she was loose to the sounds of repetition to her sighs, to her whimpers and cries, to the scars that are invisible to anyone’s sight except for hers.

At the minute of raising herself, the sunlight from a nearby window intrudes in from behind a cloud to ignite the blonde locks of hers with a youthful radiance. It is bright in the apparent sheen, while warmth crosses her cheeks in a charming blush. Even then, the evidence of somberness in her open expression bandages the young appearance of hers back into monochrome.

She lowers herself back to the bedsheets, as a corpse that, within its casket, is brought low to the modesty of welcoming death.

Shadows crawl over her in the same speed and motion as silent and relaxed infants. It is when she lays down, again, that this woman appears to fossilize herself for someone’s accident of discovery. She has laid back down as a worm reaching for the comfort and recognition of the dark.

She won’t be truly dead, not while many things are still alive.

Not while the room chooses shadows, over light, will she be deceased with a halted heartbeat. Right now, she will count the thumps against her chest, replacing the room’s silence with her own lacking orchestra, consisting of just a single percussion’s rhythm. Though, she paces about the reverbs, attempting to draw circles, with her mind’s tracing step, capturing and entrapping the connection of something warm to her. Something that fell as the one leaf that was watched to descend from its bough. While the memory of a man’s death is recalled, it is this woman’s tears that fall faster.

Her eyes are the sight to pain that erases the walls, the paint that to its color, is nothing compared to white. A nothingness, when compared to the blankness. She sheds a few teardrops, at her mercy, to the bedsheets beneath her, calling out in question, “What color are the clouds, truly?”

Then, she says with a segment of a specific history to her speech, “When he left, when you left, when my love left, there was a time when I wanted that, earlier. There were words that I spoke, at the desire for that. These were words that were turned around, as if they were a door wanted to be opened from the wrong way. You pulled, as I pushed. My trust would not open itself, at first. Then, you were allowed to enter.”

Your entrance was also your exit. Why were you so reluctant to leave, at that time? You had your chance. I was to be happy for it.

Then, you leave. Then, you died. You died when you left, at the same time as both occurred. Your exit was when I let you go, though now I can’t, because you still won’t allow me to let you go.

She says, “When is the last star in the universe going to fade? Will I then be left to this eternal loneliness, even without your memory? I don’t want that. I still want you, though I still don’t want you. I am a conflict, but I won’t reach the climax point of this story. I will set myself down to the stones, puddles, and bare earth with all the petals that fall from their twigs, in springtime. Why should I keep writing this depiction of myself on this ceiling, above me? Won’t I be scrubbed away into filthy dark?”

Her head tilts to its right side, observing the outdoors from an ajar window, though all she notices is the sky with the tops of extending towers and other houses. She had not noticed it, but now the sunshine is gone. Along with the light in her heart, remaining in there nothing but an ocean of its depth in memories, the sunshine is gone.

A singular, silver tear creeps itself on a lone sprawl free from her right eye. It finds its way to her cheek, and like gravity that takes all the rain to the earth, this one never finds its spot in the ground. It runs over her cheek with the speed of a peddler selling the wares of grief, to soon seep into the fabric of the bedsheets beneath her. Wasted. Needless, as if the sky were to cry out to this bereaving woman, “You are not alone, because with the setting of the sun, the shadows are now yours.”

Was that not what she wanted?

Isn’t this what I wanted?

To want for the stars to disappear, as it does in the skyglow having pushed nighttime radiance somewhere into the conveyor belts of factories that spew lightbulbs. But she cries, with emptiness that fills her heart with further emptiness, in the sighs that escape her lips into the corners of this room, among the shadows that have grown stronger and longer where clothes were tossed, and spiders have nested themselves into a silken home. Of embroidery made from the threads for cocoons, and of the imprisonment that clothes have for the baldness of beautiful flesh, shadows become the quilt that hugs her and ties her down.

One goodbye. One goodbye was all I wanted.

One last farewell is all one wants. Did she receive it? She answers our question with, “You left with too many breaths, in between. You left on the miles to nowhere. I wanted to follow. You told me to stay. And I never caught the words that were under your breath, the ones that kept me in mystery. I cannot blame you, while you are in the dark of this starless night like any other.”

It did not come.

How could it have come, the farewell that might have closed the door that he opened, when she did not mention it in her answer?

My love, you left as I watched all your footsteps walk further from me. Even then, I heard each one as though we were dancing together, under a true starry night, with the ocean under us.

She says, “Your reflection. My own. My reflection. It was your own, in your smile, and I saw you loved me with no conditions attached, while you were allowed entree through to me, to my smile, to my stare.”

When love is true, it reaches the skies to find the stars, and finding them it will, even during a night when all we want to do is grieve in looking down. From diamond to diamond, only one embedded in a circle of gold is needed for a man to step far from his tower, bury himself in the sand where she is, and wrap the imagery of eternity around her third finger on the left hand. There, for a moment in a fruitful kiss, they will swim in the many sunrises, in what will be seen as the singular star that is never to fade, even if night lasts its longest.

Although, while this woman grieves, all she can hear is the hammering against the walls of her heart, as though another prisoner, aside from her in the quilt, is wanting to be broken free. One other prisoner is banging their fists against those walls, maddened at the silence, shouting at the shadows.

A day has ended. Perhaps it will be one of many a lovelorn figure, as hers, will be afflicted by. A waft of an entering gust intrudes upon this scene, mingling with her thoughts, blending in with her sighs. Through such parted lips, she utters the question, “Where did I leave from? There was a funeral I have just returned from; this is right. I have returned from a funeral, as I was dressed in black.” After one more breath with another teardrop added to the collection of those that have seeped into the sheets under her, she returns to her words with, “I was dressed in the color of the earth. He. He was dressed in white. A light, he was, that would not fade, as it still refuses to.”

She sits up, looks at the wall in front of her, to next say, “I am still dressed as that wall, in front of me. I am not able to undress for the night, for what is the use? I will only be dressed in the same nighttime coloring that is all black upon the surface and even blacker beneath it.”

The wall. It is not black of its coloring. It may seem obvious of that detail, as the wall is actually painted to a green coating. An emerald-green coating of paint, applied as though to signal to wanderers or dwellers of this room, in this apartment, of some thought of growth the decider to the color had or even still has.

That wall is naked with nothing upon it. No portrait, dresser, nor even a clock covers any inch of its green hue, now having been overshaded by a blackness due unto the fallen night and sun.

She had returned from a funeral. The funeral that was, and still is, all that matters in this decaying state of herself.

Her eyes looked down to the barren sight of her beloved being lowered into the ground, once the last nail was screwed into the casket. All she saw was another sunset being buried into an ocean of dark earth, at her feet.

Now where she is, in her abode, of an apartment that shows no light, anymore, there is an atmosphere of sadness that lingers. It is as a mist that has entered in from a crisp morning, during springtime’s nestling. A mist that clogs the eyes, though layers itself upon the cheeks. One that blinds, though also irradiates all things that can be seen. A sadness, of both an illumination that means to die when the mist is gone, while also acting as an encroaching shadow that will tell the woman here to say, “There should be more of this familiarity.”

One day has ended. Many tears have fallen, while now this woman lays back down to her head upon the pillow and her thin form creased into the sheets. Her eyes see nothing while she sleeps, as all memories are packed into a disorder inside her mind that cannot quiet itself.

However, the position in which her head has been laid is worth noting.

It has been tilted in the direction of a closet. A wooden barrier, with a doorknob that is turned at an angle of forty degrees from its horizontal position. With that, the door, itself, has been left open, though only at the point of itself nearly closing. It is that the part of the door that opens, when the handle is fully turned, is pushed halfway inside the notch, hence why the doorknob is turned at such an angle. Had this bereaving woman been there to open it, though this can only be understood from the direction her head is in.

We should state, too, that this closet door is opposite from the window. If the woman’s head turned to the other direction, she would, once again, face the window.

Ajar window. Ajar closet door.

In a residence as this one, something enters while something else is meant to exit.