a sunlit clearing
out of the water onto black rock;
follow the path along the cold, blue shore;
climb over the sharp-toothed maw of canyons.
pass down between the wildflower hills & valleys;
further, then - through the dense woods in sun-dappled shade;
into the verdant, thorny thicket,
and enter the clearing.
my heart sits, quiet and alone in a pale beam of light - a tower.
I built it - stone by gleaming stone - out of daydreams and old bits of fairytales.
do you like it? does it suit me?
made of every song I sang softly into the morning air;
made of crushed-up hopes and laughing tears.
held aloft, no ladder or stairs.
and me, within it.
just me, within it.
me, within my stone and stardust heart.
see - through the window - my shadow pass by?
for a moment, dancing or singing -
then standing still.
sometimes at the sill, looking out at the dusk-made alcove of my heart -
kept secretly in the deep of the forest -
stowed safely out of sight.
& no one holds me here - no dragon, or fairy, or well-meaning witch.
just me, building a door with no lock and no key.
and I'm lonely here, yes.
but the birds sing a song I love every evening.
I'm lonely, but the tower cries when I cry & dreams my same dreams.
and the loneliness passes over me, yes -
in crashing and unexpected waves -
but the sun shines down upon the clearing so beautifully most days.
do you like it? the pearlescent blue stone?
is it lovely? does it suit me?
& in the window, I pass once more across the frame and out of sight
like a slant of light - shifting & untouchable & gone.
& how, then, can loneliness touch me?
to have made an awful little purgatory