Ember

At first, the nights were solid things, heavy and encompassing.  In time they wore away like the lining of a cheap pan. Flakes of black caught in my meals but fewer each time, until they revealed a tarnished undercoat.

Since then, I lie awake less each night.  The moments still pass, they must, but there’s a little more bitter shine to them.  Guess I’m healing, or at least forgetting but that’s not a proper choice, not really.  Either one or the other and I’m the path is too close to see.

But I’ve always been a leaf in the breeze, until you.  Now, I’m just a few embers, dancing madness on the wind.

Dawn comes slow today, like normal in winter.  Maybe I just sleep worse in the rain.  I wake for breakfast without much thought, beyond the need for coffee and toast.

Broke a fried egg, but I mix in some pico de gallo and call it good.  Tastes fine and I’m not as picky as I used to be.  Guess embers make no nevermind.  Few shells, still, but that’s rarer too.  Toast is fine and the butter’s always real, now.

Shower and out the door, still sipping coffee.  It’s raining—and my drink won’t survive the walk—so the cup stays by the ashtray.  Seven little paper filters, still.  Told you I was done emptying it last September.  No use in compromise now.

A year past and smoke still clings.  The others see, but it’s bare wisps to my eyes; ghosts I’d rather glimpse than forget.  So, I float amongst my spirits for the day.

Time was, I could pass through the day without a proper sense of the ground.  But ember’s gotta stay up, touching down can be the end.

Or, stick to kindling; the remains of one fire can start another.  But a quick blaze, the roar and rage, hold little warmth.

In the spark and fire, the dreams alight, embers can get lost in too much fire.  I char carefully, a quick singe, an unbidden scorch; unsure but aloft.

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