Mirror Pool

You try so hard that it shows in the blooms of effort beneath your clothes.  

What disillusionment comes when we finally understand what it means that everything bleeds.

And when our parents told us there were no such things as ghosts, it was only because they couldn’t see their frost on the windows; 

Their tears in the mists of Morning when most wouldn’t conceive of being awake.

But a part of you is always awake and aware when something of you is taken in the darkness of denial and deceit united in retreat; 

When the bleeders grow teeth and everyone looks away, which has a gravity of its own, so heavy eyes can’t quite make out who has the bite. 

Feral dogs and vampires wait in the shadows of towers we made to house our higher selves, but there is no plumbing and everyone has to go out to take a piss now and again.  

Fang tracks on limbs from fending off the beasts for a moment of peace.

It’s a wonder anyone survives; until someone decides to keep their eyes open long enough to see what's really going on.

You've got courage, you know, lacing up your boots for the coldest blizzard in history.  White kisses that kill everything they touch.  

Scarlet flowers pushing through the snow, memorials of the ancient ones who fought the monsters in their sleep because they stopped believing in peace a long time ago.

Creatures cannot rest when they're starving, and our yearning makes the hollow in our hearts - ever seeking to be filled until we are born again as hunters, baying for our prey.

Civilized is a kind word for an animal who forgot what they are. 

But not you.  You still venture into the night and howl at the light in the sky for calling you out.

For it is then, in the mirror pool made from a patch of melting ice, you know you were always wild.

And beasts only ever snarl and bite to feed or to be free.

Copyright © 2022, S. Naify
Art: The Ice is Melting by Galina Khabarova

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