By Fabrice Poussin
Now That They Are Gone
It’s not that they died that those tender eyes rot in the dirt after tears were shed to fill their graves. It’s not that they rest amidst concrete stones ice in winter steaming with eerie ghosts in balmy summer nights. It’s not only that we miss their grins the smiles, giggles, and laughter upon jolly soirées the smoke they blew from their pipes in infinite wisdoms. It’s Albert with his unkempt hair sauntering the gothic arches of his last home while Jack would return home to The Kilns alone. They lived under uncanny likenesses image of what all these giants have been in times and places with little in common. Now that they are gone it is their gentle wisdom we miss abysses left behind for our hearts to cry. Now we must stumble onto the path to the end without their guiding thoughts souls heavy with an unfathomable emptiness.
I imagine it is bliss to walk with one’s head in the clouds looking through the window of a giant steel bird and question that everything is an invention. There was a time we were told man walked on a certain moon or was it a pipe dream of some incompetent bureaucrat when the photos showed illogical shadows? A lady on the street said of course this glove is flat sadly, we are not allowed to travel to the other side how much I wish to see an image of that other world. She knows that none of those photographs from Hubble are true but artists’ renditions of what they may in fact be and planes do circle the planet as if it were a dinner plate. Nothing is true any longer in this maddening realm it seems fantastic tales of the ignorant masses make those dear souls feel like emperors. The teacher is left to ponder the future of a humanity complacent in the dark lies the need to remain in this soulless crowd.
At the confluent of a meandering lobe under the warm aroma of a noble soul as if a mirage in the fertile oasis of another secretive Sahara he sleeps. Beneath this ardent fire waves rise they glow with the amber of soft fibers a sea pondering the next hurricane opportune domain for the creative star. In sole imagination his mind travels unraveling the curve of the statue moved by the tremble of anticipation held in a haven yet unattained. A breath almost unperceivable drinks the essence of the nape life boils below the pearly shroud though suspended yet in its intimacy.
To the last
He felt like it was time to throw in the towel again ambling in the brightness of a gleeful August the melting mercury his only companion. Then a soft cry emerged from the hedge revealing the crushing weight of fear within the meek heart of the newborn fawn. She had been sitting by her beloved sea lost between the heavy autumn rains and the rolling thunder her ancient comfort. Wrapped in her thickening blanket of sorrow she began to walk to the growling waves when she caught a glance of a lifeguard. The image long lost of the terrified couple as the child gasped for a first breath spitting the salt which almost took her life. I too brave each day under heavy clouds as I venture to the dark cabin a simple home where no one ever wonders. Will I return to prepare a fancy feast light the fire to heat fragile hearts embrace the lover too ill to join the crowds. Six shots in a barrel cold steel of a beautiful machine made with the care and passion of an artisan such a simple choice to quit the icy walls. Yet there is another, even in despair less fortunate than all have been who suffered until the final agony? He might have smiled upon a last moment miserable he never let go of a thin hope for he fulfilled the destiny traced for him. Thus, I raise my eye to the infinite and contemplate his joyless hours as yet It is for me to live and not die that he smiled.
They command to fear the unknown dressed in dirt and stench. Where, after all, did it come from? Harmless the form hovers above their world a threat to the comfort they structure with self-righteousness. No one knows whether it has a sense of self haunting the avenues of the good as it does. It once fell ill on the side of a makeshift mountain technological marvel made for steel carriages. Suddenly object of fame for the gruesome excuse it was surrounded by sirens, screams, and smart phones. The apparition was missed for unusual days had he moved on to realms beyond this life? Perhaps it hoped to so find joy with the departed hopes chattered as again he must walk the greens. To see him again begging for a second’s attention cruel to the slender frame maybe he suffers yet. It is good to see that he has another chance at living; is it selfish to find unexpected glee in his pain?
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.