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Closer and closer
to the edge
of the heart’s known universe
like a surreal dream floating
down the aisle in my dress
of exquisitely crafted grace
from repurposed regrets
towards the altar overrun
by cobwebs
a hundred years after
neither bride nor groom
showed up at the wedding
the guests are all dead
and forgotten
love’s memory erased
and the world was rebooted

I could never really see
too far past the veil
but all the steps that mattered
still brought me here

so this is what it looks like
what it feels like
even with the walls in ruins
and life with its ash-eclipsed suns
and igneous sorrows interfering
there must be a reason why I still
hear faint strains of the song
that was going to carry me to
the destiny I turned my back on,
or was that how it went?
I don’t remember anymore.

But I pack my bags with newer reasons
and look around to find a glitch
in the system, showing me
glimpses of how it could have been
if this had happened
then, instead of now
the same place, a different time,
with two different people
that are no longer your or I.

One is a doomed fairy tale
and the other a crossroad.
Do I call you and say,
“Hey, I made it.”?
That must be worth something,
at least. In this
mega factory of vignettes
and poetic moments devoid
of context, a story
with an ending is currency.

This isn’t a rewriting,
but a pilgrimage to a time
of which there is nothing left
but fossils and specters.

Still, might you meet me
at the Golden Gate so we can
disturb the ancient burial grounds
in search of some kind of key
that unlocks all the pain, finally?
Will it give me back my innocence?
The last time I saw it, it was
shaped like a bell and felt
heavy in my hand like
lightning before it struck.

“Heels…” by photographer Samuel Pantoja


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