The Melancholy Divide

Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash
Photo by Jr Korpa on Unsplash

It was a miscalculation, nothing more. She expected something I was unwilling to give. Such is life.
We avoided the question for the first year, the good year. By the second, we were married, mostly through boredom, and the question arose more often.
I had, of course, known her feelings from the start. Her every motion suggested it. Her every thought touched upon it. She had no need to voice it, even in those moments after, when I was most suggestible.
Our third winter was the hardest. Snow piled around our small home like parcels around a rich child’s Christmas tree. There was no way out and nothing to do within. Lilith pressed me every hour until I conceded to her point of view.
We huddled together, illuminated by the light of a single black candle. Lilith smiled more in those few minutes than she had in the previous three years. And I remembered… And I recalled…
I was a doctor once. The thrill of saving lives outweighed the sorrow of losing them. Lilith was my most satisfying work. She’d stabbed herself with an onyx dagger, but she didn’t die, and I refused to let her not live. When she left the hospital, our dating began. Like I said, I was proud of what I did for her, even if she herself wasn’t.
Lilith withdrew the dagger I thought her to have lost. The thing glittered a terrible darkness and moaned like a lost puppy begging for food. “You first,” she said.
It was odd! We’d talked about it, pictured it so many times, but when push came to shove, I faltered. Lilith angered. We fought.
I buried my wife beneath a holly tree, when the snow melted enough to dig out the ground. A citrine spring light filtered down through the still empty branches overhead, casting angular, awkward shadows across her grave. That’s when I saw it, the inscription, one I had not made.
Here lies one who refused to give in to life.
I thought about that peculiar statement for many years until I, too, lay on my deathbed, teetering on the borders of forever. The female doctor bent over me as the breath faltered in my iron lungs, leaned in closer. She held a syringe in her hands, one of black glass, almost onyx, with a blade of stiletto thinness.
When you pass through the final curtain, your loved ones will gather around you like moths around a lantern. Their sadness shall wipe away your own. Unfortunately, I had but one lover, one to wait for me across the melancholy divide. She sneered and turned her back. I bowed my head in shame.
When I looked up, Lilith was gone. The gloom beyond the indigo curtain had also vanished, replaced by day. My hands bore no wrinkles. My knees no longer ached. I was alive to die again.
What had I saved in my youthful exuberance? Why did I care? Well, my friends and loyal readers, I didn’t. But she did. Her questions continued, though, in truth, it was only ever one. “Will you live, so I might die?”

Almost The End.


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

Celeste

Photo by Tati y Adri on Unsplash

Eyes like the heavens
full of wonder, sheer bliss,
alive in this darkness,
her gift, softest kiss.

She dreams of lost comets
and obsidian deaths,
for in all of my multiverse,
there’s only Celeste.


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

For You

Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash
Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

To tear cold dew from emerald blades
Shake gleaming cobwebs off the trees
Sweep azure abundances from overhead

Drain the oceans and all the seas

All this and more I’d do for you, my love
But would you do them for me?


Thank you for reading
Richard

Richard M. Ankers
Author of the brand new steampunk extravaganza Britannia Unleashed.

Within the Rose

Petals folded, clasped tight
No perfume escapes
Here, protected from life’s thorns and barbs
Cocooned isolationists sleep
Dreaming in false colours
Of Edens closed and gated
Ones milked in moonlight
And bathed in ebony shades
Shame!
If only someone had told them
Within the rose all worlds are possible
Once we cease to scream


Thank you for reading

Richard

The Shallows of the Heart

Photo by Joshua Sukoff on Unsplash

In the shallows of the heart swim armadas of doubts
Sails set proud against crimson storms, bows thrust forward

With no stars by which to navigate, no silver moons
No lighthouse lights to steer though uncertain ways

Here, where the ocean boils and maelstroms churn
Where sounds come in echoes, words dulled and undetailed

Only the strongest sailors find ways to return, to pursue
To retrace unfamiliar caverns and caves

To once again breach the clashing lips of indelicate speech
From which they first set sail

For ventricular voyages come easily to some, too easily
Whereas explorers are always pre-doomed

As uncertainties unravel and hesitation consumes
Whilst pursuing deeper words for Love

Thank you for reading

Richard