Royal March

August 7, 2016
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I woke with multiplying fears and passions, escaping the sinister comfort to join the promising steps of the marchers. To join their voices as they streamlined in perfect formation to bridge the gap between two worlds. Dust encapsulated the floating figures within my mind and I was drawn into reveries of freedom. My father laced his shoes with ferocious zeal, and my mother handed us refreshing smoothies, the ice lulling the sharp tang of raspberries. We matched the sunrise, and we set out to vanquish horizons.

And we began. As I glanced around, colorful expression frequented the faces that surrounded me. We were all foolish. Unrealistically optimistic for change that we felt was imminent.  And so we leapt into the streets, our hearts in our hands, and we dove dauntlessly toward sunkissed pavement. Our journey was silent, aside from the scrape of stones under each step. Gazes bore through the clouds of dust that rose with each movement forward. Dust coaxed tears out the edges of our eyes, united with those of hope and anger.

The silence between each body twisted into links, and we were chained to each other. The sign for the bridge approached and the cool water drifted calmly under Edmund Pettus and refueled our confidence. And as we conquered yet another curve, we saw them in the distance. Standing tall and solemn, our expressions mirrored each other. Our arms dangled at our sides, fists clenched around peace that threatened to escape with each passing step. It was a short distance, but jaded time laced itself in between our footsteps and the quiet slow motion enveloped us in its surreal waves.

And then a scream ripped through the water. Cutting through the comfort and credence. Cutting through the murky glass screens of those that watched. We could see them charging, their footsteps approaching quicker and quicker, the fury kicking up dust faster and faster, clouding our convictions and tight uncertainty approached us with a tinge of despair. Like we were describing cobalt to a blind person. And the derealization settled in and careened through our bodies, and the chains melted until the burning metal branded our skin. And then it stopped.

I was on the ground and streaks of blue and purple decorated my body and vision. The red of sweet fruits was coughed up on the concrete, and I was sewed into an open wound. I laid my head on the pavement, red seeping from under my hair. The world greeted me sideways. I couldn’t right it.

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