"I have, as it were, my own sun and moon and stars,
and a little world all to myself."
- Thoreau

Red lights burn and sear the edges of impending dusk with hues of raw flesh. Pale light writhes its last turmoil on the windswept ground as shadows cast by naked trees lash its fragile skin. Concrete strips lay in unease and the wind is cold and unkind. Here I trod, walking beside myself, completely present and utterly gone.

My heart feels pierced by something so very distant and alien, yet elusively familiar. Like that proverbial glimpse in the corner of your eye that you think you recognize. The shapely silhouette of that some kind of someone tiptoeing upon the open range of your memories, the one you can almost, almost - almost make out. A puzzle box wrapped in enigmatic knotwork sown into the abdomen, begging to be resolved before something bursts out in vivacious technicolor.

It is a bitterly rousing mindset, driving thoughts to dart and skeet with furious frenzy like a black cloud thick with winged beasts. All the while my outward appearance is subdued to that of a shadowy sulk. I am completely centered in the moment while utterly swallowed by oblivion. This strange chrysalis needs shade and shelter from the wilds, lest it fall from my grasp and find itself strangled by the cilice of sunlight. Its destiny is to wither and perish, this I know, but there is bittersweet nobility in the futile effort of preservation. A musical measure of strength, if you will, fleeting as it may be. So here I stand, engulfed by the dark while ravaged by wildfire while petrified in ice. An exotic standstill.

In the eye of this silent tempest I yearn to take a step further and plant my feet on fresh soil, but therein lies the dare. Solid ground, a pit, the abyss? Only the moment after the leap knows. My world yearns for change, thirsts for it, but that desire is a dangerous place, deceptive in its lure and filled with hidden teeth. I carry too much scar tissue to be anything but soberly conscious of the peril, but curiosity is the poet's lifeblood. The spear of imagination pierces through a thousand moments and a thousand arrays of emotions, racing through the endless spectrum of the unknown like a wild stream of quicksilver, spitting droplets of illumination into the darkness of lost moments. Like scattershot pieces of a time traveler shattered into endless plains of existence, living anew in split-second, breath-long lifetimes.

But for all its iridescent bravado this is so damn draining. Sometimes this burning heart is just that - searing pain - and nothing more. It is times like these when I find myself hoping I could step outside my skin just to breathe a little easier. To quiet the howling storm inside for a moment and find clarity upon the stillness of the sea, or at least a moment's respite. To dwell in that tender emptiness just after waking up when I know not who or what I am within and without.

To have a heart that isn't so... overwhelming.

So many of my yesterdays carry the fragrance of withered fragile things that I sometimes wonder how much ash from those pyres is imbued to my very essence. Sometimes I wonder if I could even hope to lay out a map of my life without all those signal fires that continue to burn violently in the night. I don't know how else to take note of the path my feet have dragged behind me lest with the blood in my footprints.

And yet I wish I could recall a single triumph as vividly as any setback. I wish my heart wouldn't beat so fiercely for hopeless things. I wish I weren't so keen to greet resentment as an old friend.

I wish I knew how to... be.