Centuries

Do you know who I am? Can you find my face
in the conclave of your memories?
Do you recall our promise those centuries ago,
how we would meet at the end of your world?
Well, that end is here, and so am I,
but one of us has fallen and shrunken in the sunlight.
I’m touching your cheek
(can you not feel that?)
Are my fingers not warm on your marble skin?
And is that a pale shadow in the depths of your eyes?

Did you prepare much too early, waiting alone
at an end that came sooner for you than for I?
Did your planet burn up and leave you stranded,
one ember amidst a field of charred bones?

Show me a sign; acquiesce to my presence!
Do you think you’re alone, that no one else waited
in such a sun-bleached existence as this?
No, there were others. Survivors, just like us;
wanderers traversing the bleak abyss.

Damn it, look at me! For the stars’ sake, react!
You may have waited, but it could have been longer.
Be gone, then, you carcass of what I once loved.
I have been alone much longer than you,
and I will still be alone in centuries to come,
although other guest actors will enter the stage
and echo your laughter before fading away.

That’s right. Did you think you were the first?
How arrogant! Not one of us is original
in this game where everything is copied, repeated
and rehearsed with ever-diminishing returns.
Not even we defeaters of the centuries – lovers,
pretenders and liars – can endure these tests of tears.
In the end, the final conqueror, a hunger devouring
its host from within, is self-fulfilling emptiness.

I’m moving on now. I’ll find another world,
and sap it slowly, perhaps this time for millennia.
Goodbye, old love. Goodbye, husk,
it’s time you breathed your last.
Here, let me help you…
(Can you, perhaps, feel that?)

 

 

 

© 2015 Scott Kaelen
Featured in DeadVerse: Poetry Volume One

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