• ronaldjmurray9

THE CONTINUUM: Two Prose Poems

We pressed our bodies against diamonds that, like worms, burrowed beneath the layers of our skin. And we rose from open caskets like hyacinth blooms. The sky that bled to meet us ran like tears down bridal cheeks, and raindrops ignited stars in puddles deep to hold reflections upon memories; resurrecting dreams with marionette strings that lie in beds with shattered sleep.

Suspended, I begged Sitri.

Where seasons die in stagnant cold, she left me barren winter. My afterthoughts unfurled like headstone rows that climbed hillsides toward a vultures’ wake. Desperately, I ran toward illusory hope that hid in holes carved by shivering rodents. Pestilence awaited my frozen fingers that found their warmth against a trigger, inside a barrel holding inches of black.

“Where are you?” an insect hoard screamed like dogs, emerging from a feast inside my carcass. “Can the dead be revived to find rays of sun that peer through cracks cut in the earth?”

Not in her absence, my shuddering disembodiment replied. The wind convulsed and died and sucked me to its throat like gas with a final, involuntary gasp.


She was a cluster of stars I’d counted, like lost days, along fractured lines of space—every night, where she glinted against specks of dust that marred the purity of the air. And scarce oxygen vied for room in my battered lungs, where she’d nestled herself a home to compress my chest with her presence.

She was divinity’s caress, like angel wings that gently brush your cheeks through sleep. Magic burning furious to draw nymphs from copses far tingled flesh of lovers, vulnerable to shadow crept beneath the bed skirt. Whispy tendrils squeezed carotid hope to snuff consciousness, and when I woke up . . .

Corruption arrived, bearing decay in ornate silver bowls. Sweet tastes of trickery carved, through my tongue, their way into my veins. And parasites devoured shreds of arterial walls, replacing blood with ashes that swirled like snowflakes. We convulsed like leaves trapped in corners by the breeze, and dark fantasies manifested in my peripheral vision. I found that I could no longer sleep against waking nightmares that crawled through tears in the fabric in front of me. They shuddered at the venom drops that trailed along my skin and licked my flesh to burn holes through to my heart. Her fingers slipped from their grip on my rib cage, and she fell to the floor to skitter frantic.

Like the wheels of time in buried cities, she slowed to a quiet stop. Echoes of the past mirrored screams that slithered toward the silence of the future, where they’d bang against brick walls I’d built, and beneath which I was buried. Curving lines of bleeding blues and maroon moved from my eyes to shatter the peace that once rested on the crests of my cheeks. Cracks formed in the walls near corners to take her place, and she emerged from a cocoon trapped in cobwebs of my crippled love an injured butterfly to float toward clocks that could not counter their own turn.

Find me in the continuum, one day, where an empty seat beside me claims your remembered name.

© Copyright. Ronald J. Murray. All Rights Reserved.

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© 2020 by Ronald J. Murray. All Rights Reserved.