Reply To: Monthly comp: Feb 2019

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Aconite and Forget-me-not.
(347 words)

To you who I’ve haunted, will you listen? I have whispered stories in your ear and did you hear them? They were both your stories and mine, your sins and yes, mine too, and when I paid for both of us, you thought yourself free. So I came, did I not, to remind you. I have been the footfalls behind you in the dark, tasting your hastened breathing and sharpening my teeth on joy. When the mirror caught you slantwise and your eyes were not your own, I traced your shivering skin and drank you in. I dressed in moonlight in your garden, seeding aconite and forget-me-not, death and memory, and sent mice to sink their claws into your defences. Let them erode your walls, I thought, bring down the barricades between guilt and denial, make tinder of your absolution. I have been your ghost, your past and present but Oh, the weight of it.

The days breathe on for aeons, suspend me in amber, and the weight of anger become my flesh, my anchor. I did not know the depths of it, but now perhaps I do. Down in the darkness, they are the same, anger, grief, bitter almonds and last year’s bones. I did not know, but now I do, and I am so weary.

So I swear to let you rest. I have drunk your fear, sung your guilt, and I envy now your proximity to sleep and of your sleep, its finite wonder. I swear I will let you walk in shadows unmolested and sit alone without dread. I will give you this, and more, when you sleep I will let shame wash itself clean, become repentance, and it will be enough. Enough now. Only I ask of you this. Bring me flowers in the evening, when the mist rises over me like blankets and the grass gathers its tears. I have haunted you with your guilt but never asked you for your sorrow, and so I ask it now.

Please. Bring me flowers in the evening, then we shall sleep.