The Raven's Symphony

June 7, 2011
I sit in the splintery wooden chair, listening to it creak as I cringe into a tight little ball,

my knees the useless barrier to protect me. I pull them closer to me, though.

The smell of pine tickles my nose, saturates the frigid air.

I close my eyes, so tightly that it pains me. I want to whimper, to cry.

But that is weak. That is giving myself up to unwelcome emotions.



Now, giving yourself, letting yourself be swallowed, be taken away by a deep rapid river of love—

that is different. That is bliss.



But as this raven, this enormous raven, slices through the air around me with its wings as it flies,

as it caws and screeches and cries its mysterious bird song,

as it swoops through the trees that stretch protectively around my cabin in the woods, my porch,

to reach me, protruding its talons and clawing at my scalp, my arms, which are wrapped around me,

I will not give myself up. I will not label myself as prey for this bird. I am my own fortress.



I glance at the mahogany wooden door, at my skin, ripped and torn. The ebony mass of feathers,

sleek and glossy in the scarcity of moonlight, it perches on the emaciated arm of a winter tree,

watching me, scrutinizing me with its depthless obsidian eyes, like the marble eyes of a porcelain doll.

This is my chance. I see the lights beaming inside the cabin, just the way I left them,

illuminating the kitchen, the living room, the dining room,

the windows like a barrier between me and the light, leaving the weathered wooden porch in darkness.

The door smiles at me, beckons me, its outer curtains a billowing sheet of beige in the dregs of night.



But what if I want the raven, want the torment, want the ache?

What if I want the misery, the brokenness, the helplessness?

An absurd thought, yes, but it is strangely filling, heavy, thick and oddly satisfying.

What will it be like without it? What will it be like without worrying?



The raven ruffles its charcoal wings, fidgets its scaly feet. I look back through the windows.

A blade lay on a table, drenched by the hazy amber glow of a lamp.

My haven, my oblivion.

I quickly look back at the raven, fling myself toward the beckoning door.

It lunges off the branch, a silent missile quickly progressing toward me. But I close the door.

Lock it.



The bird changes its direction, soundlessly lands on the lonely chair.

It watches me. I sit down. Grab the sleek metal knife, which feels cold in my sweaty hand.

The sound of the blade slicing through my skin, that is the raven's symphony.





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