I am a gallery

I am a gallery, long floored and wide brimmed
      no footsteps from tourists have padded these halls,
       signs suggesting an escape from my reality are nonexistent.
these white-washed walls stand at attention
for my eyes only; examining the lives I lived
many moons before.
                   The doors are barred, blockading the outside world:
these halls will only host echoes and silent smiles,
where my artwork patiently ages …
I must peruse this museum of life alone.

ash, fir, and pine,
framed in symmetrical rows,
     molded and carved between my own hands
until I thought them fine for such golden moments.
               beneath each story, a silver plaque lays its head,
with names etched into them like quill on parchment.
                        these were the souls and bright eyes
    I gave legendary status to;
for once upon a time, they were larger than life
                when my own was full of strife.

                               My Spanish rogue, brighter than la luna
   he dripped in jewels and light, most becomingly
with eyes that always carried a smile, sometimes a little sorrowful
            his mouth covered with wine stains I dared not ask about;
          what morally lost princess could turn away from him,
  he who carved my name into his heart and crown –
                  yet somehow, through my rosy visions, I never noticed
       his backdrop of velvet already dirty.
                            a deeper heart would know, and see,
        through our sheaves of bandwidth and jungle of cords
              that longevity was in the cards, but not eternity;
I did not know how to read them back then.
we rode better roller coasters than Six Flags
                                              swallowed swells and carried waves,
Este amor no estaba destinado a ser
        I longed to hold him to me, for his laugh to touch my ears
              where were the fates when we needed them most?
                                  our nights were filled with passionate music making
            and would wrap the early dawn in perpetual enthusiasm;
       we raised each other up, over mountains and canyons –
                        we did what we were meant to do, and we loved every moment.
                we had triumphed where others had fallen,
                            learning the meaning of trust and hope, even when it was tiring
  and loving with every fiber we could muster,
                 though few others would ever attest to it.
          but, like a woolen blanket spread across the rocks
           waiting for the sun to burn it dry,
   we let the rays soak for too long, hovering on the edge
before ash and fire could be smelt like rain after a hot day
                            all mountains must eventually crumble,
       some into the sea’s roiling embrace.
       we tumbled into a smoky gap,
           with only the twilight to fill the space in our hearts.
an unpredictable future withheld –
                             perhaps that was what kept us going for so long;
         the knowledge of unknowing, looped in mystery …
             but our rope had been cut, shorn like spring sheep
                                  there were too many cards down, too little chips left.
           we were a double edged wound that wouldn’t stay shut.
         our silence felt like harsh singing in my lungs
                                                   like a wet blanket over my mouth.
    we were so young, so in love, so helpless;
              I felt as if years had fallen on top of me, too heavy.
      who said it is better to love and lose
                       than to love at all?
                 life always scolded us, warned us it wasn’t fair.
           I could only shake my head, commit to memory
                     what my heart did not wish to learn,
                             and move to the next story in my halls.

          My little lion man, sharp and a gutter
who shattered the illusion of age
                         a storyteller that spoke of desert dunes,
         wild nights in the field, flames beyond man’s reach
                  uncensored, but not uncouth
         it was just what my lackluster fingers needed.
we tread down winding paths unbeknownst to us
                             finding forks and hidden hollows, dark foliage
            and hopeful shrubs.
                                but we found the bread crumb trail,
              and clear sea breeze skies once out of the woods.
                   I did not go wanting when I yearned
                                to learn something new.
             the old and new age jumped to life
      and we sifted through it all together,
                         his patience knew no bounds, his caring had no scale.
            he drew me out like fresh taffy, sinking his teeth in when ready;
                        discovering dirty secrets, long withheld from friends
                 and heart wrenching stories, long mulled over through tumultuous years
       my mind’s eye took an aerial view of all life,
                                     while the world swirled below like coffee.
        with him, suddenly the moon and stars were in reach,
                   all of creation opened before us like a show painting:
                 we just needed the keys to the ignition.
                      but storms did appear, anticipation and doubt
                                disabled the strength in myself that I once believed in.
                      I was only human, I cried, I could only go where my dreams went
             that was the path I wanted to follow,
no thought of the miles that accompanied them
we did not say goodbye,
                     he could not stand the word.
         I left his side more than once
                    tried to keep my head from the deep blue.
      the pain only grew, vast expanses of blood sinking me
            and I hoped, every day, that it would all end –
                        whatever end that may have been.
it would be many moons before those wounds
          would stop oozing; or, perhaps, stop gushing.
        our story was a good one, our good times were many
                    I played them like a projection slide,
         and slid past him to my next adventure.

                                  My lone ranger, hidden in the woods
              bow in hand, wit at the ready –
                       he was made of fire and lightning,
              earthquakes and avalanches;
        he would twist others into elaborate dances
                             with the grin of a wolf on his lips.
              he was the yin to my yang,
                dark energy to the green light
                                         Dionysus to Circe,
           he was wicked and true,
                       unforgiving and nurturing;
                he could make a woman melt
                           with but a mere sentence
            he created laughter and curated frowns
                       introduced me to cynicism, suspicion
             people were not trustworthy,
                 and heaven help the human who turned on him.
                            he was not of this world; he did not live in this plane
       the water and earth were his home,
                living free on the currents that slipped past his dwellings
                                  the sun would beg to chase his heels,
                  to gambol alongside his daily wander,
he gave and took life away in such simple manners
            it was fascinating and terrifying to watch.
              we were lost kids,
           built in hell and love, burning the countryside together
             we lusted for the mountains to be our backyard,
       and did not have to tame that quiet beast when we sat side by side
                he had a thirst that could not be slaked, I gave in every time
                         and he had a mind that could never be still,
     conversation would go on forever, intelligent or hearsay
        but we did not stop, and we never held back.
fate is cruel, that timeless bitch
             his sanity called for a retreat, falling back to his own
                    I called to him in my dreams, but the response never came
                  I became a nightmare, walking through my own seven circles;
             I had become the sun that begged to chase his heels,
                                only to be met by the night every day.
I loved him thoroughly, no restraints or knots.
                                       he was wild and polished, and he built me like a bonfire
                   I will forever dream of a day when perhaps
       he will be there again; a different life time, the same soul.

              These spiral stairs take me down the lane
          spotlights light on the good times,
                            full of raucous laughter and overflowing care;
       I move past the blank, the dirt: my enemies.
          for over the years, strings are cut –
                       sometimes, yes torn,
       but a puzzle does not cease to be one
         when the pieces are no longer together.
    I can hear the scorn, feel the heat,
                       ‘What kind of person sees love, and not hate?’
         when does the world stop spinning when plunged into night?
you care not how I see the world, light filled and hopeful
                                   love lives on every year, through us all –
          a single human cannot live forever and on,
                                only to see one other entity as clearly as themselves in a mirror.
I have loved true, all my life
                and to this day, I still do,
             my heart is filled with those memories and moments
               to enjoy whenever I need a smile;
             what shame is there to be felt in loving love?
          these are my treasures, my relics – priceless;
                           not tragedies to be mourned and grieved upon.
the Threads of Fate have held us fast
                        tied for all of history to watch over while we sleep
           and the open-minded will see, just as I do,
                    that love does not have to be for only one;
                      for though I love my half always and on,
                                          he was not the first of my suns.

               To him I bring my hopes and dreams, eternal love;
                            he was carried to me on wings of patience and luck
                                    the kind girls can only dare to dream of.
                          his eyes hold the world closely, brighter than the North
               he shines through me like a whisper wind on a summer night;
                    we are the sun and moon, turning to keep the other bright.
        we have knotted our strings, entwined beyond the mind
               our love holds a sacred, unwritten agreement –
                                                     we never leave the other behind.

The doors of my gallery swing closed; oiled hinges make no sound
                                         the key of my design I leave inside, safe-kept by my wards.
                 my timeline is not freely given away to man or beast;
                   I shall carry my loves until I should have long past died.
       their strength in time, and their hold on my essence,
                                  those are the things that make a person become who they are.

And in the end,
     When the doors shut for the night
       We all dissolve into stars;
            I am nothing but a nightlight.

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