twelve hours in winter

10:30 a.m.

it has rained whispers and unrest all morning.

i am almost ready: my luggage packed, my mind set.

i once had a dog i loved so much - she appeared to me in a dream last night:

i was driving on a deserted road, slowly, watching her in the rearview mirror

in disbelief and a kind of wonder that felt like an ice corset;

the dog ran after me but vanished in the corner of my eye before catching up.

i woke up crying and remembering how unworthy of her love i had been.

11:45 a.m.

i take photos from the train window - a blue ribbon blurring tree tops and 

half-alive villages; blinking views like ghost-birds on the memory screen.

a few more hours to the destination.

2:15 p.m.

everything could have been different:

the beginnings were good except for some corners filled with blackness;

they didn’t matter at the time but in those obscure pockets of the days,

away from light and truth, toxic weeds sprouted; 

in time, they grew into a forest where

love didn’t thrive, sacrifice didn’t meet reward.

everything was a lie, i found out later.

4:45 p.m.

the city breathes dust and a stench of madness; 

fruitless trees line the slippery streets of the same old labyrinth;

sinkholes open at crossroads; neon lights tear at the fabric of sunset.

i have never felt more alone and sick.

7:30 p.m.

it’s dinner time; i’ll have the same broth of empty shells.

lies are the bread of the broken, the heartless, the cursed.

they are the moving seas that drown our fragile ships

and the light we carry within.

there is no shore to sail to, no island to take refuge

on planet lostness.

defeat is written in the great ledger;

from the very first time we borrow the promise of happiness;

we sign our sentence at the bottom of a blank page.

10:30 p.m.

as they lied to us

so we shall lie to them

blood moon over the town

what makes us enter the bleak corridor

even though we know there is little hope that a door would open

in the leaden darkness, to let us escape?

what if the corridor is you and you can see yourself, naked,

in all the mirrors hanging on the walls?

what would it take for you to break free?

perhaps too much, the price too high -

tidal waves of fear and guilt,

loneliness, wounds still bleeding -

they can erase your memories yet the traces of pain remain -

voiceless, blind, branded in your flesh.

so don’t look back, keep going,

cast a spell of truth and courage 

and bring yourself to life again.

who knows what awaits you at the end of your journey:

a miracle. love. love.

home (bitter)sweet home

it’s seven o’clock in the morning and the night’s indigo veil hasn’t lifted yet;

tattered nightmares still hang on your eyelashes like burning cobwebs;

muted screams still bleed on your lips;

you had that dream again: your beautiful house back in that city you had always hated but could not escape;

its marble staircase, so smooth and cool to the feet, the great windows letting the light flood every corner,

the laughter of your children playing, the illusion that it would last forever

that you would grow old loved and cherished in it.

one day everybody left; they turned their backs without a goodbye.

silence made its kingdom there, clothed in waiting, weaving hopes,

white frozen days, months of staring at the blank walls -

your house turned into an empty shell; your garden withered; 

one day someone else moved in: another family - noise, lies and secrets and all - 

two children who had already noticed the torn hem of mother’s sequinned evening gown,

the glint of sadness in her eyes, 

the scream hidden in the festive music;

the family was like any other: loss, betrayal, dark turns of fate coiled around their steps -

yet they pretended they lived a normal life in their new home.

by then you were far away; you still visit the old house in dreams -

it always leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, like after a nervous breakdown when you’ve smashed precious objects

as if they were gilded prison walls or felt like a stone slate on your chest.

houses are not to be trusted: they belong to the ghosts, never to us.

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