The purple petals cried and I fell, worshipful of the mourning and the morning to come. There is a season for everything, and I suppose this one is for growth; realization that I am but the one in the infinite, sordid bloom.
The wind lifted the branches heavy with bushels of flowers, dropped some, then nodded off to sleep.
She was there first, she beat the waves. Her hand brushed the rough, splintered wood of the beachside rails before the urge of Poseidon crashed against ragged, stubborn rocks tamed by weather. The conflict roared and tumbled into a froth of old selves in sediments. Her sentiments? Untouched, her hand merely smarted as she continued her faithful watch.
In a distance, the sky and sea felt obliged to fulfill clichés and merged together in song, a tune without words but could still be sang, stuck at the regular beats of water against earth like a catchy tune’s persistent grasp upon civilization. She felt obliged to be moved by the ocean’s persistence, but cynic’s eyes read only ignorance appeased temporarily by the justification of God’s design.
The next wave crashed; she did not realize how slow the wave was or how fast her mind raced. Only then did she notice the way the seas bury the sanded reefs with such deliberation. A deep draw of breath as though it finally understood the magnitude of the downward strike — should I? Can I? — before bringing it all down in a fatal bloom.
Drama, she scoffed, before lifting her chin off the wooden rails and tore herself from the scene, all in Gaia’s two heartbeats.
My throat tastes sour and I can’t breathe.
My heart beats at the expense of my sanity.
What can I do but grit my teeth,
And blame myself for vanity?
Yet, even in self-deprecation, it seems
Cruel to neglect truest affections. Never before,
Never will be one more worthy that I beteems.
So I searched for the note, the very end, at my very core.
These puny thoughts plague words and mind,
‘Til the tillers tilled and crushed more than kind,
To set parched earth free from drought,
To grow anew a stubborn sprout.
I will live.
The air stank of cut grass and the fumes belonging to the author of the stench. ‘Tis the smell of uniformity, the blood of rebels who dared to outgrow the concrete bonds of humanity.
I tried to focus on the cracks on the floor, stretching across each rectangle aiming my steps beyond those lives to test my stubby little legs that carried me on, weaving in and out of sleepy high schoolers hogging the majority of the width of the sidewalk in a line of chattering friendship. The wind tried to chatter to me, but I needed coffee to maintain an intelligible conversation. I prefer to seek my silence, tainted by random blurbs of others’ words.
It’s not eavesdropping if I am not deliberately trying to get information, right? In fact, I merely chanced upon the conversation.
That teacher did it again! Everyone got C’s. She got asked to prom, they datin’. He called her, they hung out. Drunk? Nah, they higher than her grades. Did you see what she was wearing that day?
A cop yelled into his megaphone: helmets are more useful when they are on your head. A kid was grateful, for we would all choose a savage comment over a hundreds-dollar ticket.
The light turned green, the seconds began to trickle down. I walked between the white stripes wondering what of this will I miss and I looked down at the cracks upon the brick sidewalks. A hint of leaves reached out and said hi.
I saw your daring brilliance that morn’, shortly after the rain. God cried in my place and I thought I would hike a mountain to pretend that the elevation would bring me closer to Him, Her, It…? They, now that’s a more progressive term to appease my soul tainted by liberal rhetoric.
But political turmoil was shoved to the back of my mind that morn’, for my heart was a drama queen and my brain an ancient cynic too blinded by its devotion to logic to know whatever blubber of reasoning only gives the heart more woes to weep over.
So I distract myself, marveling alongside my mother the Renaissance of wild grass and flowers the seasons and rain and dew wrought forth in a Monet of lights and greens and warmth. Then I saw, amongst the dust yellow roads the splotches that are no rocks, but crawling or dead. What a scene I’ve never seen! What seems to be a battleground, a massacre, hope and life crushed but twitched incessantly. The raindrops drumming against the dusty roads were the heartbeat of the war, and trapped by the treachery of their enemies the snails had dragged their trails of slimy mud to the middle of the road. Some crossed, it seemed, their later comrades took formation.
Then the men came, carelessly breaking, crushing whatever their feet landed upon. I flinched at every crunch, every splatter of remains. How did you persevere? You tugging at your burdens and pulling alone, alongside me. So, I paused my hike to look at you, admiring, reminded of love.
Thanks to Spring Break and the breath of air that is post-college-decision-letters-second-semester senior year, I finally got around to play with watercolors again. This time, it’s an illustration for Chapter XXVIII. of my ongoing story, The Emperor and Her Assassin.
Here’s the artwork.
Here’s what it’s based on.
Now I am ready to confront love. What is it but the hue so dreamy, framed by lights and lack of light to complete each delicate petal?
The outermost petal threatened to fall, my muse drifted in the wind, hanging by a tangent. Despite the tug and pull, the hopes and hurts, I know the outer shells would go only when the most tender heart is ready to face the world.
My love is also a rose that time my curse, though opposite: for when the last petal struck the floor I shall be liberated, strengthened since even the unrequited pains cannot quiver in the wind and is no more.