August: The Philosopher in Meditation

Echoes from the creaking chair release me
From hypnosis that holds me fixed upon the fire
Born from my handmaid's hand. It stokes and cracks.
My oak seat sits beneath my cheeks: hard and hot
As if another dared sit, or so I thought.
Another time, for the whispers of the draft
Float freely through the apartment raft, 
Skirting off the wood steps past—

I close my eyes to begin the mantra I memorized so well:
“Lord, send me to myself again and save me from this hell.”
One last crack blows from the stove. I slip to darkness:
Black and empty. The draft is back, 
But instead it takes my breath.
They become deep. 
My senses dull. I near to sleep.
I am not, but I am 
Alone.

In meditation I find time
To explore the colors that collide 
With my cones to revive and remind
The shallow peace that’s buried deep.
Concentrated energy expanding and constricting—
My wrists rest gently on the wooden arm
Where my pulse echoes through my chambers 
And my palms.

A gailing wind echoes back,
A sweeping darkness dressed in black.
The echoes grow louder and fast.
The walls dawn the Scythe
Draped in bloodied blankets,
Death, and disaster.
She pounds the walls with fists,
Breaks the silence behind my lids.

My eye shoots open and there she steps:
A ghastly face born from the West.
Her lake green eyes shadowed by her haunting hood
And a lock of blonde sweeping as she stood.
Her eyes match mine
And her stare reminds
Me of a mirror.
She looks like the worst parts of me:
Rosy flesh over rotting bone.

Her reach invites me to annihilate us both.
Her hesitant hand grips my throat.
I warmly hold her hand in mine 
For only a moment, a moment in time.

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