And he told me not to look back at you, darling,
but that’s telling fire not to burn and I had waited
too long yet. I felt you there behind me, close
enough to feel the whisper of your breath so that I longed
to turn and grab you and outrun the flames
as they licked our skin; it would have taken but a moment.
Because I could never let you go for more than a moment,
I supposed that was always my greatest downfall, darling.
And I could hear your crumbling steps, even through the flames
and as you stumbled I ached, when you paused I waited,
as you knew I would. Broken souls were screaming and you longed
to stay, to help, but we were so close.
And that’s what hurt the most, we were so close
that I could see the light through the mouth, it would have taken but a moment
for us to escape the drear and enter the air. I knew you longed
for the sunlight, and I longed to see you smile darling.
Time had passed in a torturous haze; it was weighted
with yearning of you- you, now only an arm away in flames.
And yet I feared for you, your beauty so near the flames;
they erupted with the dangerous rage of Hades, so close
my eyes watered when smoke billowed and I waited
for it to clear before I could press on. It took but a moment,
and in that moment I heard you stumble, darling,
and you faltered, I looked back, as I’d longed.
Your eyes shone in fear, for you knew. And you longed
to take my hand, reaching for me through the roaring flames,
arms stretching as you screamed. And I reached for you, darling
though it wasn’t enough, for we were so close
that I could feel your hand on mine, cool skin against skin, and in a moment
you were gone. I blistered with the flames as I waited.
Hell erupted into fury and the souls behind screamed, and still I waited
for I couldn’t leave without you by my side. I longed
to wait for you forever, but the fire grew thick and in a moment
I raced forth into the sunlight, away from the misery and the flames.
The heavens were much dimmer without you, for we had been so close.
I screamed for you then in the emptiness, and I suppose I always will darling.
And when those rocks finally crumbled, smothering the flames that had held you close
I knew I’d lost you, darling. But the weight of your touch has settled on my skin, in my heart,
and still, though you are gone, I long for your embrace, even if only for a moment.