The loneliness comes around nine o’clock. When the world winds down, before night swoops in and demands its dark attention.
Candles dance, breathy flames upon their string.
It’s amazing how loud shadows can be when they wave their black banners across the wall. Soft chords of piano glide through speakers, caress the air, finger their way inside my chest.
Tonight I feel vividly. The length that spans between home and here, then and now. Heartbeats of my mother, quiet blinks in the distance, transferring to my brother. I press my ear to the open evening to hear clearly how they twist into my sound waves.
My hands, pale gloves that open to an empty offering. Fingers roam the lines of this page, marveling at how languidly the ink swims to its surface.
These words are all I have to mark true time. To mark space and season and spill myself among the reaching hours. Beauty folds for no man. Patience primps itself in the mirror, locking eyes with my sallow stare. Over and over, she purses her lips to my form, square and subdued.
Clock hands quiver from one tick to the next.
What am I to do with all this time alone?
How am I to breathe with punctured lungs leaking me out, flesh and mind attached to solitude?
And he, the one whom my heart desires, far and flat and fading the more I tell myself to stay away.
I nuzzle deeper still into the flickering light that simmers from the candle, one pop of air from vanishing and replaced by smoke. These steady marks of worlds colliding, games no one ever really wants to play, the chasing, pushing, drawing close before a quick retreat.
In eagerness to discover who I am in the dark, who I was finds itself unseen in blacker spaces hidden from sight.
We sit in stillness, loneliness and I, a full bouquet of branches pruned from one tree.