By Chris Biles

I walk between the candle and the dark,
lost in a forest of black-heart pines,
the world, stretched thin, only truly
exists against the backdrop of faraway
constellations: those figures of waking dreams
dripping dew in their slow cycle,
their shadowy play performed for nothing
but the indulgence of their own agony.

I try to let my soul fly free,
but even with wings it can only
transform into a dusty moth, so slow,
so weighed down it is only struggling
through the thick honey of a trap.
I am suspended somewhere between
the stars and the earth, dispossessed
in a silent twilight, memories hang heavy
weighing the corners of my mouth.
For now, the sun’s treasure is in the moonlight,
insulated by an ice that radiates its chill for miles
and miles.

But a door will open to a new place.
Flowers will be weaved into my hair.
My soul will become a migratory bird,
a bird that can fly around the world
on nothing but a few worms and desire.
Words will not just exist as weightless
sounds, breath, vapor, released only
to dissipate. Through that door
there will be thousands of metaphors,
every word waiting to hoist me up,
carry me away from the shadows
between pines, carry me to a place
where no crystals of ice encase
the light of the sun, where memories
no longer pick at the frayed ends of my clothing,
where I will see beyond the constellations
to a world of some substance,
because what is agony
if not a thin wall to climb, and leave behind?