Between Black&White

A man walks down the street,
watching his steps cross the
cracks in the concrete, all the while
missing the rhythm of life,
“normal life” they say, by
just a fifth of a second and
he thinks he knows things
but sometimes he’s never quiet
sure.
Well, there are times when
he clings to the vines that
hold him firm to the things
that never falter or fade.
But even then, sometimes,
he can feel his hands start to
slip.
And though he grinds his teeth
and, jawclenched, he tries
to hold on tight…
he falls.
But he continues to walk,
right in front of left, eyes
never failing to glare only at
the cracked pavement and debris
his feet walk over.
Looking neither left nor right
just onward.

And it was on this path
that he ran into me
head first into my chest as I was
busy eyeing a woman with
candy apple red hair and a black dress…
The impact was enough to
rattle my balance and in
compensating and preventing a fall
I spilled my cup of coffee down the
gutter to my left.
Anger swept over me like forest fire
madness, but I saw the kid’s eyes,
cold blue antarctica, carved out of ice,
surrounded by white, cracked red and
accented by the bags under his eyes.
They told of a great weight that sat
invisible on his hunched shoulders
I took a breath

Who are you, kid?
“Empathy and apathy, a great dichotomy.
Seeker of grace and failure of faith.”
He spoke to my shoes
What’s is this weight you seem to
carry?
“If ever there was a heart that had
grown used to breaking, I’ve got it.
With every passing moment of life,
I am the griefcarrier, the crossbearer,
the sympathy in a world where hope
is the only thing that keeps me going
sometimes. Sometimes…”
He looked me in the eyes which were blue
but in the next moment an emerald green.
” I am the envy of all the things you have
but can never be because I’m too foolish
and too hard-hearted to follow through.
I am the poison you should have drank
and the antidote for what ails you
because you, you think you’ve got it all
figured out and your rational thinking
will set you free…”
His eyes drained of color, turned to stone
and I went cold.
“But your hope for freedom are the very
chains that bind you”
Shocked, I shuddered and wondered
aloud one final question.

How is it that you know so much about me?
He laughed, sick and desperate.
“Close your eyes and shake that question
from your head.
You are so entangled in your own web of
self-absorption that you don’t even recognize your own–”
Reflection.
I was face to face with a man with sullen eyes
I raised my hand and he mimicked my actions
perfectly.
An office building, mirrored windows,
and me,
locked eye-to-eye, face to face.
Antarctica… emerald…
and now just shades of grey
between black and white.

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