White Castle

When we were younger,
you’d always urge me to dream
of a white castle,
complete with its keep, battlements,
towers, bailey and moat,
you’d whisper, beckoning me
to find more than a room
reeking of stale cigarettes,
you’d speak,
asking me to abandon this place
and find more than a life
plagued with addictions,
you’d believe, saying,
“One day, you’ll find that castle
with a garden of
hyacinths and shelter
yourself in the shade
of an old willow tree,
and marvel at the sunset.”
Time has passed,
and you’ve grown frailer,
and I, weaker, but we’re
still in the same space
and the exact moment,
like an old chandelier
hanging from a cracked ceiling,
we’re still haphazardly
foxtrotting to the rhythm of
the same song –
a screechy Motown
played by the same
antediluvian gramophone,
but as I walked to
the balcony of our apartment
this morning to sip my coffee alone,
terror made me realise
that there’s nothing out
there that needs finding,
because we’ve always
lived in a white castle
under a garish, green sky,
overlooking Eden
filled with wood nymphs,
and Lethe
running through it,
from which we drink knowingly
because we’d rather
stay here fortified
than brave the
raw, uncompromising wild.

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