This is a strange place we are in, you and I. But I'm glad it's shared.

It is a room of hidden things and words left unsaid. Whispers lay softly afloat like smoke in humid rooms, lazily drifting above tension draped in lead gowns. You in one corner, I in another. I don't know your face, but here, I don't need to. We are skinless here but braver for it. The air between is awash with warmth. We catch only glimpses, yet smile wittingly and suggestively, as two people sharing a secret often do.

Who are you? I am dying to know.

There are many words to be said in this room, if only we could escape ourselves. Words to send shivers up and down the spine, words with the power to melt all nearby faces and surrounding vistas to a faded blur and then dissipate like content gasps from satisfied lovers' lips. Abstract signals so concrete, ripe for the plucking from but a touch, a smile, a secret shared. From moments of togetherness so far removed from the clutches of description that the mere attempt would rival trapping sunset in a bottle. A captured series of seconds woven into the tapestry of lonesome hours in the dark, when but an eyeful of those sacred sentiments brings you mysterious joy.

A cold flow washes through me and I awake from my daydream. Smoke lingers on my lips. My weary eyes follow the footprints in the soft earth, trailing back and forth like lines burrowing into an old man's face. I contemplate; how many is the tally for today? How many times have you tamed the desire to touch and steadied your lips before a smile's gift had a chance to escape? How many times did you let sunlight escape beyond the edge of the earth without so much as an trailing glance? My reflection in the glass concurs; times aplenty, always aplenty. This is the way of the world.

We swallow so many sweet words back down our throats, back into the recesses of the heart. They become entangled with veins so dark they resemble leafless branches against bright midwinter skies, veins clogged by all that we leave unsaid and undone. These words are so difficult to set free, so hard to let loose upon the air. Their wings need air beneath them, but the path they choose when airborne can never be determined. Chaos and communion are always a feather's sway away from collapsing into one another. An outcry, no matter how pious its aim, would surely devour levity and leave us defenseless in each other's company. The words stick to our teeth. We dare not dream. It makes me feel older than I am.

Gently, with a reserved hand, I draw the curtain aside and observe the secret place from afar. Time stands still and runs through aeons in an instant. All is perpetual and frozen.

This place is so vibrant. So fierce. Impenetrable yet completely weightless. Drenched in milky darkness yet pronounced to the finest colorful detail. But above all; it is secret. It is an impasse we all willingly confuse with reciprocity. We will over-exert our control over ourselves unto the grave, only to gasp a final grand sigh of regret on the deathbed for all that was left behind worse than was needed. We empathise with the world by finding common ground as cowards, because our feral virtues have been drawn from us like blood from a sacrificial lamb. We are bound and subjugated by our instinct to suppress the purest forms of dialogue we possess; we strive to be strangers. It is irony at its foremost finest.

Still this place finds us. It envelops our minds at a whim, for it exists in a space of longing beyond our control. We are all searchers, are we not? And so the light will thrash and struggle for release like a caged animal awaiting an unsung tomorrow where it would be set free. It is so bright it numbs you with fear. So prone to overflow you grip it with both fists so tight your nails puncture the skin. You greet it with anger. The thought of but a single beam escaping is terrifying, because it would tear a hole through the darkness and drag you into the midst of something unforeseeable and unfamiliar. Something uninhibited. A place devoid of shadows, exposed and with no place to hide. In the wake of this dread we are all brother and sister.

We often mistake our gifts for burdens. Of this I am guilty from every sunrise to sunset, and a lesser man for it with each passing day. Perhaps this makes me a bigger fool than most, perhaps I'm merely a more insightful buffoon than most. I dunno. But I fight to conceal this luminous force with a matched if not a stronger hand. Even when my heart swells with indescribable savagery, beating like a wild drum. Instinctually, I wish to give more than I have and receive only what candour grants me, but at the apex of fruition I halt. This is a world for the takers, where currency requires currency and nothing is free. The act of granting grants nothing by default, and it is only through bitter mercy that we close our palm when more than our share is there for the taking. This is what I've been taught by harsher hands than their possessors would care or dare admit.

So I hide so many beautiful things in rooms within rooms, stuck behind heavy doors and bound by thick chains. They meet, flow into one another, painting all in their wake with deep red and glistening gold. They explode like fireworks and spontaneous laughter, smashing hardened, sour sights into countless glimmering pieces. But they are locked away, left to wither. I curse myself for being so terrified of such wonderous things. As should we all, for we are all equally guilty of such transgressions. This you know.

I find strange solace in the thought that all this will fade away, in time. A dishonest sentiment rotted from every corner by the acidic nature of denial. But the weight of emotions is so often so impossible to overcome and endure, and love above all things feels most unbearable to me. It encompasses my very being yet I fight it like a taint, for it renders me defenseless. That is why every woman I have ever loved & lost remembers the ironclad taste of gridlocked resentment whenever my memory invades their thoughts. I would describe loving as others might describe bleeding; beauty, pain, dissonance, wonder and foreboding all in one lingering jolt of blinding light, stretching into the evermore like a frozen river without a creek or waterfall to break its neverending journey. I find strength and clarity in knowing that it all has an eventual end, but I also recognize the thought for what it is: rejection. It makes me cherish the agony as an act of welcome penance.

Yet I am a poet. As much in love and awe of these heartscapes I am illustrating as with any creature of skin, flesh and bone. As enthralled by the secrets of sensuality as any conoisseur of puzzles and enigmas. Too restless to leave passion without note, thus risking withering all beautiful and delicate things through exposition and exposure. Words paint my world alight, but they disturb the play of shadows with their pervasiveness. I am easily swayed by the rhythm and melody no one else can hear, often forgetting whether I'm the player or the pawn. With the lines already blurred, the threat of losing touch is ever present. These sights offer a succulence too tempting, and with their whimsical direction, I often misstep. But to know me is to know this. To love me is to welcome the horrors this wild heart harbors.

We do bad things. To ourselves, to one another. Inconsiderate things. The paths we've left behind are paved with good intentions, cracked open by insecurity, decorated with disregard and littered with casualties. We race feverously towards the snarling jaws of the world to prove that the spit of the grey sky hardens our skin into a stronger shell. Yet the lashing we endure extends from our own hands and the blood we spill is only incidentally someone else's. We bleed for resolve and strength, yet the drive to inflict pain stems solely from fear. What silent souls we've allowed ourselves to become.

But in the finest company - that which we should seek tirelessly as our numbered days tick away, I believe - we would strive to ascend into a new breed. That is, if we should be so lucky to find such company, insightful enough to recognize it and brave enough to embrace it. Thus would begin a hopeful blind stumble on the ladder of evolution to new, unimaginable heights. The marching advance of renounced thespians no longer able to act unwavered by the tremors our crossing paths leave in their wake. The visage of such a tomorrow is quite delicate in its simplicity; indifference completely and utterly destroyed.

Perhaps all that we are now is all that we will ever be. Reluctant passers-by on our way past this strange place into a safe haven devoid of threat, meaning and renaissance. Perhaps surrender will come to weigh upon our scales but lightly if at all, and in hindsight we shall reminisce mournfully yet detached upon the day we allowed this yearning for higher entanglement to still, succumb and perish.

Then again, perhaps not.

This is a strange place.