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Time and providence

This image to me represents a man letting time drift by and providence take control of his life, as he sits in despair.

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet 
And voices at the door 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

I often asked myself why

I was here on a lonely planet,

confined by time and providence,

I watched people undergo

spiritual metamorphoses,

transforming into beings of the

light — blue aureoles

framing their faces, but I only

knew a soulless status quo,

looking out the window at

crumbling brownstones and zigzagging

paths, but then you came into my

life, bringing her with you

and I saw more than a dilapidated

farmhouse baking in the sun,

more than weeds and thornbushes.

Walks in the park became more

than aimless sauntering,

a sense of purpose flooded my soul,

and even after you walked out on us,

unable to fight the anathema

that stalked you, swooping down

from the ceiling, yearning to seize

and control, I lived for her —

her innocence and ebullience

crowning this also-ran

with a wreath of joy,

but she had too much of you in her,

even at such a tender age —

the same predilection for crumbling

spires and gargoyles,

the same urge to get trapped in

serpentine prison mazes,

the same flashes of incoherence

descending like winged ghouls,

ushering in periods of laconicism,

and then catatonia —

making her a cherubic statuette

with a maelstrom of despair

within, uprooting will and reason.

I fought for her, implored her to

come back to me with silvery streaks

on my face, but they told me

that I couldn’t do more and that

they needed to take her to white-hall

confinement where they’d teach her to ‘adapt,’

I waited… waited for her to come back

to me until switchblades of agony

cut my heart, and I couldn’t take it

anymore. Perhaps I’m the weakest of

all of us. They’ll call me a coward and

they’re right, but I had to beat

time and providence, break the six

seals of despair and say goodbye

without a swansong or curtain call.

If you ever read this, know that I was

both compassionate and selfish,

unable to defeat the strongman

guarding the door to new beginnings,

I loved… lost… and lost myself in the

process, leaving you, her or someone

else with a wisp of sadness

or a violent echo of anguish.

Photo by Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

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