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 Spirit Chimes

Final Chapter


At last the night pities him
in the aftermath of life,
years distilled to this moment,
to a soul that forgot how
to fly and waits for sleep
like the last shreds of Autumn.

Shadows always sheltered
his dreams like a mother,
and silence was dessert,
all froth and sugar:

how sweet the hours before
the vengeful dawn.

Here at the bottom of the day
a thousand times
he ruled the world
when he believed in magic
and tomorrow.

Ambition corralled the
untamed stars through
the brazen night.

In dreams he seduced
the virgin moon,
now she is a mocking shrew
sleepless, brittle as he,
who's turned minutes into
prayer beads, endless circles,
drops added to a cauldron
of memories boiling
down to dregs.

His mantra was Me
so time granted his wish.
Now friends that might
have been are black spaces
that feel like January,
a white tantrum kicking the ground,
a world pasted shut on every side
slowly cracking in his chest.

In dreams he rules alone.
He understood too late that
the earth, that belongs to
infinity alone, doesn't need
another master;
It was always his to love,
but never own.

There is no hope outside
where trees stand breathless
against a wounded sky,
while another night grows fangs
hunts him like the last snow leopard
finds his bones rattling
behind his flesh,
devils lunging from his eyes,
all smoke and lava from
unborn dreams.

Staring past the years,
minutes, walls, humans,
he hears only the music
that stung his eyes and soul
in another lifetime.

In the mind's golden womb
he was born again and again;
He was a lord.

Now the night never sings
just studies the fading
scarecrow with ashes for eyes
and slow breaths of fire
and fingers twitching like
serpents tongues.

And the moment is like a lover,
a flame that melts the most
glacial pride,
the first kind servant some
mortals ever know.

Only the night knows his name
and the wind, in respect,
closes the door,
marches behind him
like a procession,
rasping, laughing:
In dreams he ruled the world.

Patricia Joan Jones

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