A landscape of gingham cloth flutters in a soft breeze. Linen sails inhale and exhale, anchored by wooden clothespins clipped neatly in rows. Dragonflies shimmer in spring sunlight, playing hide-and-seek between veils of lace as midday fades to dusk. Tree branches stretch their fingertips behind rippling sheets that glow with a cool blue-white unique to evening as a chorus of crickets begin to hum to this twilit puppet show. The slender silhouettes are kissed by the glow of amorous fireflies who alight on rose-hued blossoms, waiting for love. As they wait, the last breath of wind carries their silent serenades.
The soft scritching of scarlet ink on a parchment page soothes an otherwise-soundless twilight, too quiet for hearts to beat at ease. A flame flickers by an open window, and I watch its soft glow cast shadows on my fingertips as I trace threads of moonlit gossamer with my thumb. Below, folds of fog lap at a shoreline like waves, but the tide is out and sea glass shimmers like shards of broken mirrors glinting in the sand. Soon, perhaps they too will fall below the veil of mist and shadow, just as the blue waters a distance away have grown dark. But the moon has yet to fade behind a sea of clouds, and the clouds of a lower sea have yet to touch the countless mirrors illuminating the sand with stars that glow only in reflection. The ocean of mist hesitates, hesitates, and at last, recedes.
Peer inside the looking glass; a tunnel of blues and greens. This crawl-space-cavern, this hallway of infinite doors, stares back at you and whispers, Follow me. Your eyelashes blur your vision, but you cannot afford to blink; if you do you might miss the swinging chain of a pocket watch as it disappears around the bend. But only bends are constant in this shifting realm, only unknown corners are foreseeable; losing your way is certain. Only turning, morphing crystals illuminate ever-growing dark spaces to draw you further from a way out. You could stay here forever. Forever is only a thread of fleeting moments after all. Yet, a hand grazes yours and you draw a single breath. The tunnel fades from your eyes as you set down with lingering slowness a child’s toy. Time to go home.
Fingers meet other fingers, touch at their fingertips and separate. Cold, fair fingers against softer, warmer ones. Music drifts note by note as these fingers flirt and dance, as some press and others give, as ripples cross a river of white. The cold fingers yield but only to a measured point; they are gentle, yet wary. A single pained touch and all harmony cracks with piercing finality. Webs of fractures in a sheet of ice, discord in a melody that consists of only chords, and so the muses of percussion, the fingers with which you so carelessly play, are unforgiving.
All memories, at a certain hour, are bathed in golden light. During this hour, remembrances revive and we relive them again, we can choose again; the past can change and yet, our choices never do. And as the hour hand strikes its final tone nothing has changed. “Should” and “shouldn’t have” become irrelevant; “wish” and “wish I didn’t” take the weight of a thousand feathers thrown into a windless sky. The words fall emptily on our baffled lips, and we are reduced to a bittersweet silence once again. Perhaps this is why memories pain us so, why they bring unanticipated tears; waters that continue to ripple even after the passage of time. Perhaps this is why I cannot fall asleep at night, while the whispers of times past haunt me still.
In a reflecting pool, memories stare back at me; a thousand ripples slit the seams that once stitched history into a chronological stream. Heartstrings flutter for faded individuals, silhouettes of personalities that exist no longer; dreams and wishes mesh to create an impossible realm. In this realm, stillness reigns and change is a stranger to these unmoving lands. Figures stand with their backs to me, their faces indeterminable, unimportant, for their hearts beat with the same frenzied fervor. The rhythm echoes in the windless sky and calls out to me. If I could only trace each fractured face with my fingertips, perhaps my smile would return to me, but each touch only causes yet more ripples. When the image stills and I peer into the endless depths once more, the figures are gone, as is my heart, and I see it disappear over silent hills, left to wander alone in that impermeable landscape.
When the window opens in the pale light of an unrecognizable hour and a breeze drifts in to send dust motes into a dance, do you notice the warm kiss of sunlight caught in the air or the cool sigh of the wind itself, audible only to romantics who have lost their way? Do the warmth and the coolness come together to breathe upon the wide-eyed world the indeterminable temperature of spring, or do they oppose and destroy each other until a silence remains, lacking nothing, but hollow all the same? Below, under the shade of a chestnut tree, dew drops glitter with surprising fervor; the tears of air and forgotten moonlight yearn for an audience—a tragedy must be heard, and a love story, all the more. Yet, no one is listening. You glance away and the soft click of the window latch creates a deafening hush. No one is listening.
When I was a child, on certain nights and certain afternoons, my parents would kiss my forehead before I fell into the embrace of dreams. Whether to placate my whining about being too old for afternoon naps, or to ward off monsters hidden in the deepest recesses of the dark—from which neither you nor I are yet free—with a seal of love, they would kiss me softly on my temple, for only half a moment, and then they would be gone. But in those half-moments, during those inaudible happy sighs that slipped from my lips, my parents became immortal. In the cool blueness of midnight, or in the golden light of afternoon, I dared not touch that spot upon my forehead; my fingers were too profane for the mark of gods, my gods, my mother and father. And in my silent adoration of them, in my wordless wonder at their immortal love for me whose illumination warms my forehead still, time passes at a different pace and I hope they might still be immortal when I awaken.
In blue-green waters trembling with unfallen tears, a slit of ebony gazes back at me. Soft warmth presses against my palm and even as I kneel, the dark shape before me seems to bow to my touch. I am no king to this gentle creature, so I kneel lower and cup his face with my hands. The edges of his feline form are softened by surrounding shadows, and it seems his fur might dissolve into darkness altogether; only his eyes remain unchanged. Hope flickers in his glowing eyes, embers cooling in perpetual twilight. I whisper promises I cannot keep, and under his stare, I know he knows, too. Time passes and hours dwell into eternity in his unwavering gaze, but I must depart. I brush the softness of his forehead with my finger once more, before turning away. I must not look back.
Please visit this site for more: http://brooklynanimalaction.org/adoptable-pets/
(The one described in this post is named Floki, a beautiful black Bombay cat)
Grey skies dye violet petals a deeper hue. Raindrops glance at dewdrops, flirting, dancing, becoming one, before separating again and falling onto other leaves, other petals. Sprites laugh with pixies, sirens with nymphs, and the moon smiles among the stars. The night is quiet, the wind is still, and I wonder if silence can always be so tranquil. There are other silences veiled with fear, with tears, with trembling sleep, but not here, not tonight. The air hushes troubled thoughts and smooths the furrowed eyebrows on dreaming children until their soft cries fade to whispers and then to nothing at all. Silence reigns and sweeps across a scarred land, taking away its pain for a single night.