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Soft and Salty Sea

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Clasp my hands in irons,
I go to no avail
My soul I gave away
to a whispering summer sail.
This cutting, frosty air
I can no longer breathe
My life is now sustained
by the soft and salty sea.
So take me if you will
I give you no restraint.
We walk through rooms of darkness-
a lost sinner and a saint.

Blackness waits in the room beyond
its minion holds me by the wrist,
and drags me to its lullaby-
to a labeled and perverted crypt.
My eyes must hold an ancient curse
for none will look down from their heights,
they stand with halos ‘round their heads
scorched from Hell’s gleeful eyes.
Puppets tied with fiery strings
and sealed with a bloodied cross,
they lose themselves in the praises they sing
but find themselves in another’s loss.

Cold upon the wooden planks,
my bare feet sit precariously
knowing they will soon lose their grip
and catch in the winter’s breeze.
The Grip of Death tightens upon my neck
yet he sits beneath me calm and still.
His eyes are the only that meet mine-
flames that melt the cold air’s chill.

Now I see the blackness rise
from where it had just lain,
yet not from Death’s dark cloak-
as soft as thunder rain-
moving swiftly from the crowd
I see the blackness unveiled,
the coldest and the deepest spirits
that had the Lord’s hands nailed.

Feeding on those within the crowd
the blackness takes its shape-
a figure tall and stark,
despondent as a widow’s crape.

Birds no longer sing their strains
and trees have ceased their sway.
Death stiffens his handsome pose-
his fury self-contained.
My eyes remain on him,
still and soft, composed,
as the darkness slithers in,
passing in between the rows.
Familiar faces out beyond
standing still as stone,
twist into gruesome smiles
as the darkness takes control.

I feel the time coming near,
a tension on the rise,
Death breaks his ceaseless stare
and peers into my eyes.
I breathe into the piercing air
arrange my feet beneath,
Death turns his body close to mine
his cloak a guarding sheath.
The darkness is forgotten,
all fear now is past.
Though I feel the bleak noose tighten,
Death holds me in his grasp.
A comforting chill runs through my soul
as Death moves closer in,
his hand cradles my stricken face
and inflames my frozen skin.
I stare into his eyes
and feel my feet start to fall,
yet he holds my face steady,
as the wind begins to drawl.

The rope reaches its end
and suddenly is gone,
I feel no winter wind
only Death’s protective arm.
My feet land on grass,
wet with morning dew.
I hear trees as they whisper
in the sky’s expanse of blue.

Death has not faltered
but lulls me with his touch,
his hand around my waist-
a firm and steady clutch.
I stare into his gaze
and he smiles into mine.
We turn and walk away
leaving cold and shade behind.

Out into the distance
two shadows stroll on gallantly
to be carried forth away
by a soft and salty sea.





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