“OLD MAN: Yes, my child. I shan’t wish you happiness, for there’s no such thing; but I wish you strength to bear your destiny….” -from The Road to Damascus
Return from Damascus
It all went wrong without asking my permission.
Everything I wanted, gone,
like the dew on new spring mornings
after the sun yawns, stretches, brushes it aside
like wrinkled sheets or fallen leaves.
Wonder, if you must, how I
could be so broken.
It was just a vase, a cheap, empty vase, and a careless
mistake. Dropped on cheap laminate,
imitation of wood. Imitation of life.
It was so long ago.
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
Drove from dawn til dusk that muggy day in July.
Crying, when I wasn’t screaming songs
of broken hearts, broken lives, broken people.
People just like me.
Following the signs, though not really reading.
Speed Limit: 70. Curves ahead. Slow down.
They must be for those who don’t want to crash.
I’m doing 90, faking happy at last.
Don’t think I’d mind getting lost on I-20,
somewhere between ATL and the end of it all.
Wasn’t I happy once?
God, where did my life take this critical turn?
And I don’t mean that religiously, though maybe I should.
Thought I followed the right signs, but I never really read them.
Should have seen this coming from the very beginning.
Been almost a year. Been quite a restless year.
Looking around this house full of wasted time:
memories gone or fading, missing out on life, but I’m alive.
I’m a statue here, waiting for a shine; stagnant, filthy,
left here alone with these broken pieces of time.
Waiting for a voice to call me toward a direction –
any which way will do.
Just call, and I’ll answer –
and maybe, for once, I’ll follow through.
So, this one I wrote around the end of summer 2008, a year after I separated from my ex. It probably needs some revision, but I’m going to leave it the way it is for now, as it’s quite raw with lingering feelings that I had never really dealt with before writing it.
Until next time…