Surviving Ember

January 25, 2011
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With a gasp I lurched from my nightmare.
My breath racing, my mind flying.
I desperately clawed at my sanity to return,
While everything scattered like panicked mice.

Finally my existence registered in my mind.
I leaned back down, my head still throbbing.
It had all happened so long ago.
But the scars continued to burn me.

You already know how they got there.

You didn’t forget. I never will.

You already know that you’re guilty as charged,
But I’m the one locked in my own mental prison.
It should come as no surprise, really.
It never was with you after awhile.

Birth. The spark of something new.
You’re thinking about it now aren’t you?
The way we both swooned over it.
The fire we had ignited together.

It seems foreign really, thinking on it now.
I’m shocked at the things I let you do back then.
You’d prance around our inferno, water in hand.
You thought it was fun to douse on occasion.

So I barricaded my part of the flames away,
Somewhere safe, so I had thought.
But you knew me inside and out.
My passion was your toy.

You started the dance of death.

As I only could have expected from the situation,
The rocks you kept throwing broke through first.
Can you remember when my delicate glass rained down,
Shards of pristine beauty littering all below?

I remember walking around dazed.
My shelter had been blown apart.
The shrapnel beneath my feet stung with each step,
But I had to wake up soon.

I needed to escape. I needed to be free again.
To be able to roam the land without a care.
But of course, that involves imaginary intervention.
My parents taught me not to believe in fairy tales.

This was all too real.

It should be noted that Hell is much bigger than it seems.
Layers keep getting worse on the decent.
The next three layers happened a heartbeat later.
My Hell was only beginning.

It seemed like we owned the universe.
Can you remember it now?
The way that the sun blanketed the earth.
There was happiness farther than the eye could see.

Do you remember running for that sunset,
Chasing the dreams in the distance?
I should have remembered the immortal sun dies
If you can’t run fast enough. Can’t dream far enough.

Then everything started bleeding.
The earth oozed crimson and the sky filled with ruby.
The moon was beginning to descend on the landscape,
Shrouding all in its baneful light.

I was caught in the rays.

I remember it all. The moment you left me.
Left me for ruin in my emotional wasteland.
As I struggled to keep sight through the curtain of red,
You didn’t have to say goodbye.

Pain speaks louder than words.

I kept on going, my essence drained.
I had known what caused it all.
But I let the blades pierce my heart.
My will to fight back surrendered an eternity ago.

Eventually it was too much, and I was under.
Falling. Falling fast.
I knew I would never know when I had hit bottom.
I’d be dead at that point.

Everywhere I looked, the shadows were there.
Darkness enveloped me. Tasted me. Welcomed me.
It knew I didn’t have much oxygen left.
The fire was dimming. I was dying.

As I watched the inferno of promises hiss,
The light of its flame edged towards legend.
Once the energy was suffocated beyond being,
It would never burn again.

Sometimes great things have no great explanation.
Dying is complicated. Death is simple.
If you remove everything from the fire, it ends.
You had wisped all the fuel away with you.

It was getting colder. Time at a still.
I can’t keep track of eternity.
The moments all meshed into one painful realization.
The flame was still fading. I was frozen.

My heart began to slow, I willed it to.
I had come so far down my demise.
The heat was unnoticed.
I didn’t want to think about salvation.

It was home down there.
They accepted all, rejected none.
All they asked for was my soul.
I gave them the crumbs you hadn’t stolen already.

Hope was long forgotten.
I would never play myself the fool again.
I’m not a believer in miracles.
Not after what I’ve been through.

Though there has to be something good.
Something that makes the lost raise their heads up.
The thing that stops the falling. The ending.
Something that wanted me to have another chance.

Then, in one moment: freedom. I had survived.
I remember the air rushing back into my chest.
My lungs howled at the intrusion, my eyes
Shrieked at the luminous world before me.

Still, I had returned. I was alive.
Sentience had intervened with the unreasonable.
The recovery had been blinding, undoing.
But I had escaped from my nightmare.

Forgotten. It was all I could be described as.
The darkness had been more of a home.
You could at least assume you weren’t alone there.
The realm of light confirmed that you were.

Yet, there was something there.
Something in that wasteland I had reentered.
It called to me, lured me in to it.
It was warmth.

Resolute in the quiet embrace of solitude,
I pulled out a small fire of wonder.
The universe proceeded to glow with radiance,
Filling up the farthest corners with bright promises.

If I had been blind I still would have seen it.

I glanced down at the twinkle in my palm.
A lone spark had struggled through it all.
I followed it as the surviving ember danced with life,
A perfect replica of everything I once cherished.

Was it a foreshadow of what was to come?
Another glance towards the fleeting horizon?
Was it a reminder of what had already past?
An omen of the damned destined to haunt me?

It did not matter anymore.
Nothing mattered now. Did anything ever?
No. No, that isn’t true. Something does.
Something has to.

I had escaped from my tomb.
Though I was still in my cemetery.
Looking around the hallowed grounds,
I knew I’d be escaping on my own.

I had designed it after all.

I remember rising from that dust, dead.
The only thing alive was the spark in my palm.
Though it was me. It was my being.
The only part that made sense.

It was the only thing I could call home.

That was what really mattered.

The light tickled in my hand,
Averting my eyes back to it.
I stared long and blankly at the undying marvel
Before returning it to its rightful sanctuary.

It was mine, and mine alone.

I’d need it later.

As the brilliance faded down, tucked away safe,
My breathing started again. Thought had returned.

My painkiller was gone.
Reasoning was back.

Reality coursed through me, as it always had.
I could feel the venom taking its toll.

An overwhelming wave of emotion surged,
I remembered my plight.

I lied back down beaten, forgetting light.
I lied back down ruined, remembering darkness.

I lied back down alone,
And cried.

I remember.

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