The Untitled Journey of Two Travelers (One of Them Myself), Their Discoveries, and a Universal Truth

May 4, 2008
Take my hand and I’ll take you
To a world I wish I never knew
Come with me, through the twilit streets
Of coal and crystal, wine and rain
Cobblestones tapping a beat to your whispered name
You hesitate to trust my answered prayer
Balancing ghostlike upon a chair
The floor is the river, the straightened spine the bridge
Which suits the remains as a morbid crib; in crushing defeat they took the leap
Ask not the time of day to weep—I bid you ask the winter’s spade
A shovel to inter the claim
The frost descends on whistling misters, toting top hats to withdraw for sisters
As icy winds pick up the spout
And carries the ashes all about

Back and forth in tainted glory
The demons speak of a second story.

Purple dawn ignites the stars to kart-wheeling smidgeons of falling art
Purple moon kisses the crowns of highborn, noble princes taking their bows
And the sooty sidewalk draws to a close, as valiant angels recite their prose
Behold the land of which I speak, my friend whose hand I’ve grasped so long
The kingdom of those who forgot their hearts and left them alone for another song
That song played on a violin; sweet, and poignant and doused with sin
Of pain and fortune, love and Hell, of castles on beaches smothered in heat
The sort that rests on an August day—and refuses to lift ‘till it’s had its way
A sort that demands a payment in the worst kind of mean, a stroke here, a death there
A lovers’ tryst split in humid mist
This land of devils and sprites and faeries
Tapping the tune that pronounces “Love dies!”
A death that smolders like a dying ember, curling into a crusty demise
Wrinkled like an unironed shirt
Caked with mud and gritty as dirt

Back and forth in tainted glory
The demons speak of a second story.

And trust me, my friend, whose life I hold
There will come a moment, when all will be untold
And the truths you’ve erected your world around
Will dissolve with the patter of tears on the ground
What you knew since infancy turns upon the day
When you reach this prison that steals its prey
“What is real?” You’ll ask me, I know
“What is not? What are you saying—that I won’t rot?
When I die is there really a Heaven to see?”
(And they will wonder at your insanity—that you say there won’t be a Heaven to see)
“Will I lose my soul to creatures unknown? Will my friends stay beside me
Now that I’m old?”
(And they will wonder why you call yourself old
When the hairs on your head are as blonde as gold)
And the answers shall come one day, my friend, without delay

For now I speak of that other door
The one that leads to the second floor
A rising, so to speak, from this dismal place
Where angels dwell and light creates
Masterpieces upon vacant walls, oil paintings faceted in sharpest relief
Detailing the aesthetic view of man and woman—in a multitude of eyes
From the idealist, to the realist, to the symbolist and the romantic;
The beauty is reflected, the humor panoramic
I grip your hand and we sail away
To this new world, crafted of clay

At the golden sealed entrance we pause
Asks you of me “Where am I?”
Replies I in like tones, “You are home”.

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