October 22, 2012
By Zoe Westwater BRONZE, Pleasant Hill, California
Zoe Westwater BRONZE, Pleasant Hill, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

His face was a cluttered canvas stained with despair
The sunken ridges on his skin form a road map, each highway narrating a memory
The concaves of his hollow cheeks collapse in on themselves
Forming graves that encompass the haunting essence of his suffocation

His mouth twisted into a forced smile
as if the wry expression would conceal his distress
The way the dim light rests on his features
makes him appear like a repugnant creature

His frail bone structure has been battered by waves
and his hollow soul left washed up on the beach
gradually sinking beneath the sand
then his resurrected body unravels underneath the blinding rays of the sun

I see him spend his days sitting in the confined space of his empty house
Composing a melody with the creaks of his rocking chair
The neighborhood kids would call him a modern Boo Radley
only ever seeing his dark silhouette through the window

His only companions are the vacant picture frames arranged on his furnace
who talk with confidence in their voice and satire on their tongues
toxic sarcasm infecting every word that their instrumental lips harness

I recognize this man
a man who would hesitate to return a stranger's smile
a man who can only regain a small taste of vitality through storytelling, but doesn't have a listener
a man who yearns to disintegrate into a pile of black powder
left on the sidewalk for pedestrians to mindlessly stroll through
eventually disappearing into the gutters

His face describes the life of an unapproachable man
But if I remain impartial I can embrace
His true identity no matter his face
If I stick to these presumptions I will never see
how wise or imaginative I have heard him to be

Even this, I will not take into consideration
If one day I meet him in the afterlife
I will keep an open mind
for by his own words,

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and all science.
He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe,
is as good as dead: his eyes are closed."

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