The Safe-Cracker’s Puzzle


By Dane Mutters
2016

She is locked in a wooden safe, with the handle on the inside.
The dial on the outside spins
To the
Click
Click
Tick
Of a safe-cracker’s twitch.

His wrist is stoically poised,
The back of his hand just outside of his vision;
His fingers twist one way, as his thumb tilts to the other.
The safe clicks and ticks, but doesn’t open.

This safe is a custom build that nobody has been able to crack.
Though wooden on the outside, it is petrified to the hardness of steel.
The woman inside has a demur smile as she quickly opens the door to other pursuant safe-crackers,
Allowing them a timid peek at who lounges within,
Before slamming the door shut, again.

They are left with dreams of twinkling eyes and a sunrise behind swaying brown vines.

But for this safe-cracker, she leaves the door wide open until he approaches near.
As he smiles, she smiles and closes the door an inch.
As his footsteps echo upon the marble floor, she closes it another two.
Before he can offer his hand, the door is closed, so he walks away.
This safe-cracker is no fool.

…But after years of dreaming, he can’t resist the call of the safe that has never been cracked.
More than a Browning safe, with its floral design near its base, and proud name at its top;
Or a stoically red Amethyst safe with a single, tantalizing, golden handle;
This safe sings his praise, and promises secret riches of beating rubies, dripping pearls, and adorning diamonds.

For a long time, he stood far away, remembering the click of the closing door.
He cracked other safes in hope that they would satisfy his craving.
He walked to other cities and conquered strongboxes, stores, and banks by the power of his keen senses;
And their strongholds did nothing but adore him, swinging their hinges apart to give their treasures.
But their diamonds he dropped on the ground,
And he walked away shaking his head.
He can’t return to those places.

Why?” he thought, as the safe quietly went, “tock.”
He froze for a moment, and reached for the handle that wasn’t there.
He heard a footstep from the other side.
He pulled his hand away from the door and held his breath.
The door went “clunk”, but didn’t open.

From the other side, he heard someone slowly spinning a dial, as if listening for the right combination.

The Regal Penguin


As it so happens, I don’t have a lot of short stories that I’d consider worth publishing; but I do have one more that’s actually a poem in prose form.

I wrote this for the 2000 National Youth Poetry Slam Competition in San Francisco, CA.  It’s the only poem that I’ve performed in front of what I’d consider a “large” audience: around 2,000 people at the final show.

The nature of this poem/story is highly metaphorical, with a political bent.  I hope you all enjoy it.

The Regal Penguin

A regal penguin sat on the lower beach of his iceberg, watching the frozen sea, like it must be on the rest of the world, bumping lethargically against his primordial salt-sand crescent.

He wrinkled his nose and sniffed the cold salty wind. Wind from the sea, he thought, could never be sweet.

He lay down spread-eagle over soft snow and gazed up into the fuzzy dusk-dawn sky. Stars still shown brightly, but why shouldn’t they? The night has just begun. Calm, quiet night.

He dozed off, watching Hercules kill Hydra while the sea glittered up contentedly.

–And awoke to a rudely screaming sea, churning beneath him.

“Penguin, fraud!” it barked across a sand-filled larynx. “You told us Hercules would kill the hydra and behold! We are but mocked followers of blatant lies.”

But the penguin was unmoved. “I wear a suit, but I cannot fly.”

“Fraud, we say! Change these stars or we will torment you. We can force your hand, lay your career to waste; you must move the stars, or do you challenge us?”

The penguin laughed and replied, “Silly wave, I was president once.”

Churn away the floating iceberg and continue forever the sloshing tides.

But it was not his place. They could never believe him, they wanted freedom.—whose iceberg is flat and eroded.

The great penguin shook his head and wept to read the weather.

“A duck has an excuse, but not I;

And I come to save them, the waters, so vindictive—since I realize that they’re at their own peril they are wroth to listen to me when I tell them that the cold fronts they create do still make hurricanes—which never do they cease, but now who takes the blame?”

The penguin no longer watched the sky. Instead, he fasted atop the iceberg, waiting to be cremated for his ineptitude in dealing with a stubborn sea.

BUT NO! He couldn’t have done better.

How could he be expected to regulate a population who’s primary concern is that of removing him?

Melt the iceberg to loose the penguin and hold your breath forever.

He wept bitterly through eyes which had hardened into graying marble slits, unseeing beyond the walls he had built around him to keep out the meaningless movements of the hateful sea. They wouldn’t make a fool of him again. It was their world now; while it lasted, he was free.

By Dane Mutters, 2000

Celestial Innovations, Inc.


I wrote this during my first semester in college.  Same horrible creative writing teacher as previously mentioned.  She hated it, of course.  😀

Celestial Innovations, Inc.

Sam was bored. So bored, in fact, that he was lethargic. Bored because he was lethargic, all stemming from his boss’ quaint request to “Build up a universe, Scout.”

“Scout.” He hated that name. His boss thought it was some sign of camaraderie to make up pet names for all his employees. Bill was “Clown.” James was “Duder.” They all put up with it because it kept the boss in a good mood—The boss of Celestial Innovations, Inc.

“What a neat job,” he thought when he was hired. “Where else can you build your very own moon?” That went on for the first week, when he was still in training for designing craterscapes. Now he built universes. That was a bit trickier.

He couldn’t simply tell the computer what he wanted it to look like, what kind of textures to put on it, and render it in the Celestial Replicator…It was a universe. A big blob of nothingness, when you think about it—but that’s the trick. You can’t precisely think about something that isn’t really there, and won’t be there even after you create it. It was the idea that counted.

“Be one with the universe, Scout.” That was his boss’ advice. It made him mildly suicidal, but he usually got over it.

He was cursing mildly and swiveling rapidly in his cushy-looking-but-not-really cubical chair. He swiveled when he was upset. If he was also bored he tended to curse mildly in rhythm with the clicking of the smoothly-operating-but-not-really Xerox machine. Good for something, he supposed.

His boss cuffed him on the shoulder. “How’s that universe coming, Scout?”

It wasn’t a question, it was a reminder.

Sam wasn’t ready for this. He hadn’t stopped cursing yet. “Damn good brainstorming, sir—gonna lay a good one.” Stupid machine.

“Keep up the good work, Scout, next Monday’s gonna be a real kicker!” Get on it or you’re fired—this is an important client.

“Like a fly on sh…shoo-fly pie, sir.”

His boss cheerily strode towards the next cubicle.

“Duder!” Sam heard from the next cubicle.

Yes, sir, kick ‘em in the client, sir.

He munched a Twinkie. They always helped him be one with the universe. There must be something deeply spiritual in those layers of synthetic starch and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. It was as if with every bite he was biting into a heavily seasoned—

BUG!

He impulsively leaned over and blew a sizely piece of Twinkie into the paper basket. The back legs were still wiggling. Must have been a cockroach—only a cockroach could survive inside a Twinkie.

After a bit more spitting and cursing he returned to his blank monitor. The computer had booted up and was ready for him to input his basic concept for the universe. He was mildly excited about trying out the latest version of Headspace.

The latest innovation was for the program to immediately put the computer into power saving mode while you thought up the basic concept. He hadn’t expected that. Go Microsoft.

“Basic universe, no specific purpose. Capable of containing planets, stars, solar systems, galaxies, but currently does not.” (Planets, stars, solar systems and galaxies are an extra charge.) “Age: one trillion years. Size, four-thirds pi fifteen zillion light years cubed. Linear travel speed: 25 times diameter per second. Four-dimensional—standard settings.” That oughtta give it something to complain about. Much to his dismay, the monitor only stared back at him blankly. He shrugged.

Now was the tricky part. What was this universe to become? How long would that take? Was it moral to decide it? What was moral in that universe? Would people obey those morals? He proceeded to dig the project request form out of his lunch box. It would make a good napkin—it wasn’t a carbon copy.

To create a strictly moral universe capable of recreating itself in the event of collapse, overexpansion, or any other ill effects pertaining to old age.

That was the gist of it. The rest was the kind of corporate mumbo-jumbo that keeps lawyers employed.

By moral, they probably meant something to the extent of protecting the young and helpless, not stealing, killing, giving to the needy—all the usual Christian stuff. That ought to be easy.

“Morality.” The screen blinked on. “New Testament values, strictly obeyed. Complete reproduction as needed, brief pupation.” The program ignored the error in syntax and proceeded to display his requests. It was about time somebody made a program for language-deficient techies.

Sam spent the next couple days setting up probabilities. He put a time flow hub at the center just for kicks. The computer handled all the mathematics.

Replicate.

The machine whirred into action, opening an inter-dimensional portal to the new universe. It was done in five minutes.

Five minutes?!

The last one he made took almost a week to replicate. Something wasn’t right.

“Replicate miniature, .75 inch diameter. Present space.”

The machine started up and instantly replicated a scale model of the universe. Sam’s instructions popped up on the screen. A wasp flew out of the replicator and landed on his shoulder.

“SHIT!” he screamed and began spinning violently in his chair, in hopes of losing the troublesome insect. The wasp didn’t move. After a minute or so of this, Sam stopped spinning and stared at the crowd that had gathered to watch the spectacle. His boss elbowed his way to the front.

“Sam!”

Uh-oh.

“What is the meaning of this? Have you lost your mind?”

“Technical difficulties, sir, it’s all under control.”

His boss looked angrily around the cubical. It looked all right. The crowd was breaking up.

“Stay focused, Scout.”

That was all. He sat dazed in his reclinable-but-not-really cubicle chair. What a horrible time for a buggy program. Sam winced and then laughed.

Why not? It met all the requirements—“To create a strictly moral universe capable of recreating itself in the event of collapse, overexpansion, or any other ill effects pertaining to old age.”

A wasp would reproduce, it would protect its young, it had no problem with community housing…The boss isn’t going to like this, but how’s he going to know—he only needs to see the specifications, anyway. Besides, it was his wasp. He was in complete control of what it did.

He turned his head to see the wasp. It was crawling up his neck. It would be better not to let the boss see the evidence of his mistake. He picked up a newspaper and rolled it up. The wasp was sitting still just under his chin. Just one quick whack…

Whiff! The wasp stung him and flew away. Sam cursed loudly and gripped at his neck. It was swelling rapidly. As he went to the restroom to wash it off, he realized his universe simply wouldn’t do. It was dangerous. No other time, in the history of Celestial Innovations, Inc., had anybody’s creation ever backfired like this. What was he going to do? Destroying a brand new universe wasn’t generally a big deal, just as long as it wasn’t inhabited; but a living one…?

That was unthinkable. But neither could he give it to some client. He would have to hide it somehow. That wouldn’t be too hard—he could simply delete the coordinates from the mainframe—he had access to most files pertaining to his creations. His boss wouldn’t have to know.

But the program said it would replicate. Then what? He couldn’t remove that part without destroying the entire universe—it was in the imperatives. He would have to let it go.

Let go of his creation. He realized, almost abruptly, that he could not own a living universe. Besides, he’d never be able to hide it from the IRS. He only hoped that he could leave it something to remember him by. He could be its mentor.

He sat on the counter and tried to come up with some way of showing his presence in that universe—he wanted it to have purpose, unlike the one he lived in. He wanted only to create something beautiful to listen to, watch, love—it was his universe, but it could never belong to anybody—it had to have a free will—it had to act of its own volition—it wasn’t just a universe, it was his creation, and he would leave it a gift.

Sam returned to his cubicle, his head burning with joy. He sat down at his computer and ran the program. Yes, this was what he wanted. He pressed his lips to the microphone and spoke shakily.

“To present universe, add.” He swallowed deeply. He had to get this right.

“Love.”

By Dane Mutters, 2000.

Uneventful Day


Since everyone seemed to enjoy my other creative writing posts so much, I’m going to post some of my short stories over the next few days.

This one is my favorite of the bunch (though you might like another one better).  It’s humorous and hopeful, and heavily inspired by the (farcical) work of Douglas Adams (whose Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency I’d recently read).  I wrote it when I was 17, in Junior-grade English class.  Initially, we’d been given a pretty dull assignment, so I decided to cheekily recycle some other assignment that I’d done years before.  As it so happens (and as it rarely did, when I set out to be mischievous with my classwork), the teacher caught on and made me re-do the assignment, forcing me to actually put effort into it.  This resulted in the story below.  (Yes, she was right, for a change.)  😉

Unexpectedly, the teacher then suggested that I submit this to the youth writing competition that was being held by the local Rotary Club at the time.  I’ve never really been interested in competitions of any sort, but since I had a bit of a crush on a very “preppy” girl who was rather used to winning things–and who was entering that competition (of course)–I decided to enter the competition, and win (if possible)–mostly to annoy her.  This story did, in fact, win, and I got to read it in Barnes and Nobles, plus I got a $50 gift card to the same.  (I don’t think girl ever got the joke, but she did look properly sullen at the award ceremony where I read my story.)

This version has very little alteration from the one submitted, with the exception of minor punctuation tweaks and a correction related the the life-cycle of a flea (don’t worry, the original joke is basically intact).

Uneventful Day

He sat in his office building going through paper work. He did this every day; the same old numbers, the same old requests. He was tired of it. He leaned back in his chair and looked out the window, down 34 stories onto the large green field on which the whole building stood.

“Nothing ever happens around here,” he thought.

A bird flew by his window. It was a pigeon from the city not 20 miles from here, and with it was its mate. They banked steadily away from the window and glided smoothly down, flapping their wings in unison, and watching the grass gain detail as they approached it. They pumped their tails and came up slightly so that they could see the whole countryside. It truly was a beautiful countryside. They went left on the pleasant airy plain and flew boldly over a gray sleeping cat. They fluttered off towards the ville.

The cat heard its name. Everyday, somebody called it, not because it had a master, for it was a stray who enjoyed basking in the mid-afternoon sun, but because for some reason—perhaps its coy yet nonchalant scruffiness—people were drawn to it.

“Kitty, kitty!” cried the young girl exuberantly as she began running toward the nestling feline. “Kitty!” The cat looked up indifferently as the young girl plummeted toward it. It was still deciding if it should worry. No, not this time.

“Mommy! Aaaaa…aaa…” A woman in her thirties with dark hair trotted over.

“I told you not to run on rough ground like this! Now look what you’ve done to your knee! Oh, let me see…” she peered fumblingly into her purse, “Is there any Kleenex in here? Here’s a band-aide.”

“It hurts! Mommy, it hurts! Owwwmmm-mmm-mmmm…” She was now lying on her right side, clutching at her left knee, which was only mildly scratched, but looked a bit awful with all the mud on it. Her new blue dress was going to have to be washed.

“We’ll have to get that cleaned off; you don’t want to get any germs in it, do you?” But for the germs, it was a different matter.

One particular bacterium was panic-stricken over its sudden displacement. It was no longer contently wading through an abundance of newly decomposed grass, but was now caked in some manner of iron-rich gel, and things weren’t getting any better. It had been squirming to break free of this plasmatic goo with only minimal success. Its food supply looked like it would hold out, but something was eating through its cell wall, and this made things very uncomfortable, indeed. It was beginning to worry about whether or not it was going to complete all of its biological imperatives or if it was simply going to end up on some foreign surface as no more than a small pile of denatured protein particles. Things didn’t look good at all.

Just then, it was enveloped in water and sent tumbling down in a thick stream of muddy liquid. It landed with a splash in a vast ocean and began to slowly bob back up to the surface. By now, many of its organelles had stopped functioning, but it probably would have recovered if it wasn’t at that moment lapped up by some larger creature and digested in acid.

The dog wagged its tail. It was in a good mood today because it was finally being allowed to go for a walk. It wagged its tail some more and began to pull at the collar, signaling that it was time to get moving again. Its master, however had other ideas. He was sitting, looking quite relaxed on the park bench, with a clump of old newspapers held close to his face. He pulled firmly on the leash with his age-spotted hand.

“Settle-down, Peaches.” The dog whined a bit and plopped down on the ground. Suddenly it felt an itch near its shoulder and scratched it with its hind leg. It yelped because it had scratched too hard, and proceeded to try and lick the spot, which only served to make the itch worse. The dog wanted to go home.

As the flea bit, she didn’t consume much because she was sad. She had spent a lot of time lately contemplating her purpose in life, and today had come to the conclusion that it was simply to reproduce and bite whatever it was that she was standing on. What made it even more depressed was the fact that she didn’t have a mate. Mind you, she didn’t need a mate just yet, and would surely survive waiting an hour or two to get one; but the flea found it awkward to be alone, and even more awkward to be with other fleas, being that some of them already had mates. She rubbed her head sorrowfully on the base of a nearby stalk of fuzzy white hair, and in frustration bit deep into the dog.

Under the flea, under the dog, a groundhog burrowed diligently. He had no idea about why he was burrowing, but thought it to be a good idea anyway, and if he was going to be doing something, he figured that he had best do it diligently. So he scratched feverishly at the wet soil, making a long trail of uprooted roots and shredded worms. He made extra sure every few minutes or so to trek all the way back to the surface and deposit the castaway dirt so as not to bury himself without knowing it. His tunnel was growing quite big. Every now and then, he would pluck out a large root and taste it. Some were quite bitter, but others tasted nicely and he made a habit of devouring those completely.

He was starting to get tired, but still wanted to finish his tunnel. Every day he made a new tunnel so that he wouldn’t have to go back and repair an old one, and this day was no different. But now he was starting to feel the pull on his eyelids, and thought that after this one was done, he would have to go to sleep. He had no real idea of when a tunnel was done, just that at that point it was time to go to sleep. But as he was pondering over these things, something odd struck him… It was metal and it got him right in the head. He wasn’t sure what to do about it, so he stopped and thought a bit. The act of thinking made him very tired and he fell asleep.

This particular metal object just happened to be a ground post for the office building, and this particular ground post just happened to lead directly to the office block on the 34th floor. It ran up through the brick and drywall and stucco and branched out into many wires at various points in the elevator shaft. One of these wires served as a surge protector, which unfortunately wasn’t doing its job because it had been severed last week by a nail driven into the wall to support a picture frame containing an indiscernible scribble of modern art. The man stared at this, hoping finally to figure out what it was, and perhaps remember why he had spent thirty dollars on it. He scratched his head with the worn down eraser-side of a dull yellow pencil.

“Nothing ever happens around here,” he thought to himself.

By Dane Mutters 1999

Thank You


One more.  I also composed this one in college.  The sentiments expressed herein aren’t ones I’m permitted to feel often, but they’re nonetheless valid, and worthy of the wish to feel them more often.

Thank You

Monday morning, an alarm clock buzzes loudly in my ear.
Monday morning, my dream suddenly vanishes.
Monday morning, my fingers grope for the button.
Monday morning, I push the button and the alarm clock ceases.
I drift off to sleep.

Monday morning, my alarm clock buzzes its disapproval.
Monday morning, my dream suddenly vanishes.
In the cold, I count the hours of sleep.
Monday morning, my fingers grope for the button.
Monday morning, I push the button and my alarm clock ceases.
I drift off to sleep.

Monday morning, my alarm clock buzzes.
Monday morning, I press the button on my alarm clock.
Monday morning, sleep dust scratches my eyeballs.
Monday morning, I rustle the covers and turn on some music.
Monday morning, I sit in bed with my eyes closed.
Monday morning, I wrestle with the decision to get up.

My alarm clock sounds.

Monday morning, I rub the dust away.
I open my eyes.
Monday morning, I am amazed–

When I know the glory of the Creator
as he paints onto the world
yet another beautiful day.

Monday morning, I stretch the tiredness from my muscles.
Monday morning, the sky is blue and the grass is growing.
Monday morning, white flowers have appeared on the oleander bush.
Mist has adorned the wolf spider webs.
Monday morning, the trees spread their leaves for the pleasure of our eyes.
Birds flutter to and fro, shaking the mosaic branches.

Monday morning, a train glides by, greeting the neighborhood.
Monday morning, the house next door is white and tan.
Monday morning, cool air stirs my room from the open window.
The city is breathing in long easy gasps.

Monday morning, I remember the beautiful music of yesterday.
I remember the harmonies of the choir.
Monday morning, I remember the covenants I’ve made.
I remember the rewards of doing good work.
Monday morning, I think of the lessons I’m here to learn.

Monday morning, I rejoice to be on Earth.

Servitude


Seventh and (for now) final in the series.  I never actually gave this poem a title.  I wrote it in high school, drawing inspiration from a scene I saw while sitting at a coffee shop’s outdoor table in Downtown Chico (back when I drank coffee).  It’s not as “sophisticated-sounding” as some of my other poems might be (well, I can hope), but it happens to be one of my favorites.

 

He sits outside the coffee shop,
Watching passengers in strange vehicles go by.
This is his peace.

He glances back, hearing a strange noise.
He still wears his apron
Because he never knows who the next customer will be.
He goes on watching.

He is void to his own thoughts.
He knows only his work and the street.

Loneliness.
Servitude.
Drifting.
Today,
He awaits tomorrow,
It continues.
This is his life.

Others have been here before him.
Others have served before him.
He knows not that the servant is highest,
Yet…he knows servitude.

His day is lit by the helping of others.

Someday a new job,
A new place.
Some fortune awaits him.

A day goes by,
Two years go by,
A new job, new life.

When he is there,
He’ll know what he had.
Until then, he waits.

Exhumation of the Dead Soul


Sixth in the series.  This poem was written much more recently.  There’s almost certainly an object lesson here–that I’m still working to decrypt.

 

Exhumation of the Dead Soul

By Dane Mutters, 2010

 

I thought I could woo her with my imagination;

I thought I could lull her sweetly with my voice,

excite her with my fingers, plucking my pulse on an instrument;

that would be enough, I thought;

then she would fall into my arms.

 

But my plan would go not so;

it would be all for waste;

because while I was busy lulling,

my voice busy caressing,

my hands feverishly working,

my eyes had lost their sight;

my pulse had gone limp;

I was drowning in my own intentions.

 

I lost sight of any person whom I could love.

My heart was cold; ice tore through my veins.

I sat at the table, as it were, staring at my food—

made with my own hands,

cold as blood.

 

They were all the same!

Blasted from the beginning!

Creatures of heartache and despair,

molting away their own consciences

in an excretion of lavender lotion,

plum perfume,

hair like tendrils of silky steel stronger than a chain—

bathed in fragrance, beauty, passion

…and malice.

 

I had eaten at their table,

tasted of their sweet vinegar wine;

and my heart burned;

the meal, I thought,

had too much flavor;

it seared in my throat

because I was undeserving—

I had to be;

my loved one hadn’t loved me.

 

How could I love again?

The maggots in my belly

were a creature of their own—

seething with venom,

churning with putrescence.

 

My tongue became a lash.

My eyes became torches,

flares to gasoline;

I had given up any hope of loving again,

and instead sought to share my pain.

 

The time for miracles had passed; I thought;

my knees were cankered from kneeling

and my voice grew sore of crying.

To live was torture, and to love…

was even worse.

 

Then the fire of my imagination,

the pulse of my drum,

the sound of my tempo,

the dream of my eyes

sparked in my mind…

once.

Twice.

…And I ignored it.

 

What had I to gain from trying?

 

…and then it hit me:

everything.

 

What feeble efforts I could still summon

in the acidic atrophy of my soul,

still had rhythm, still had the pulse of a heart,

although having been rotting in necrosis–

its feelings turned to ash–

boiling in the sea of its own rotted fluids

and vain miseries of what might have been…

It was still beating.

 

Slogging away through it,

the toxic gelatinous mulch

was still moving,

my lungs still heaving despite my most fervent wishes;

I was alive,

and was not about to slip away quietly, peacefully

into the ever-calm darkness of what lay Beyond.

 

My gasps and sputters,

spewing black, bitter mucous

that lurched from my chest

and dribbled down from my lips

into white tissue–

cleaner and whiter than I–

brought continually with them,

the retrograde reciprocal,

breathing in again. It could never stop.

Not until the Lord took me–

not until I didn’t want to be taken.

 

And so I moved.

 

Haltingly, joltingly,

always in fearful anticipation,

staggering forward,

and reeling backward,

I reveilled my slumbering legs from the covers of my stinking bed,
stood,

and walked towards a faint light–

a soft jingling

off in the far distance,

and beyond my reach.

 

Her words echoed through my dark mind,

bouncing without a care through the tunnely blackness.

I caught only a few of these glittering jewels as they soared past me

and kissed my cheeks wistfully.

They shimmered in my hands for only a moment,

then, diamonds turned to fireflies,

they flitted off again

and left their bright rainbow streamers behind them–

my only reminder of what had gone by.

 

But the words, so precious

kept filling my ears,

and as I turned my head, there were more bright,

burning fires headed towards me,

bringing warmth that I didn’t deserve.

 

Could she be so naïve? Did she not know my fate,

and the fate of whosoever should attach herself to my gory, weeping side?

How could she even look in my direction

with her blinding-bright eyes

and not see blackness where I stood,

with my veil of tears streaming down,

and cascading onto the cold, hard floor

–like so much wasteful pity and garbage?

More, though,

How could I obtain that light–

in her eyes,

in her being,

in her very smile–

without my dull, morose spirit

extinguishing it forever?

 

My face was smiling while my heart melted like molten lead.

My voice was bright, though I held back sobs.

And my touch was soft, caressing,

despite the longing of my skin

to embrace the chill, harsh edge

and release my soul from unjust entrapment in my veins.

 

But there she was, like an angel,

a work of art, a moving statue,

resplendent in bright colors like the dawn touching the day.

Was she real? Of course, she was–

I couldn’t imagine, yet there she stood, and smiled,

and laughed,

and touched my hand accidentally.

On purpose.