Haul

he sat in darkness, his darkness

warmed by the seductive dancing of firelight, as its fingers caress his rufescent cheeks

a trace of cognac coalesced in the corner of his glass, pulling itself toward the diminishing flames that reflect upon its crystalline surface

mesmerized, he watches his long journey unfold in the fireplace, absorbed in the knowing cackle and crackle of his storyteller

a journey from innocence, to something far less so

the sheer weight of his memories – of failures, of regrets, of heartbreaks – too numerous to count, is outnumbered only by those he tries to forget

he’ll drag them into the fire, using what’s left of his courage in one final, brave act of redemption

in his stupor, he doesn’t realize the room has already gone cold

he’s been lulled to silent tears by shadows in the eigengrau, who recount the darkest stories, for those are only theirs to tell

his courage, which has now tumbled over the rail of this ship he couldn’t right, chasing the embers even while the ground rushed to embrace it, floats near the empty prescription bottle at his feet

broken, like him

he’s unaware of the snifter’s lurch for freedom to the keel of his wayward, sinking vessel

its tortured desire to return to wholeness and denial

his fading, singular focus was only of himself and his own pain

very like the way he lived

and this was a haul he was dying to forget

6 thoughts on “Haul

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