watch the tendrils

of smoke dance

before being whisked away.

sitting on the porch railing

his book open beside me

as he searches for

the meaning of life.

he could give

the chemical formula

of the ash

from his cig

but not the balanced equation

for happiness.


he said our lives are like shooting stars

streaking across the time continuum,

bright and white hot

here one second and then gone.



and then he said

i don’t want to be a shooting star.

i want my life to make an impression

like the hale-bopp comet.

people placed their hopes and dreams

their beliefs

their futures

their lives

on that comet.

i want someone

to place

their life

on me.

i want to be their savior

their dying breath

their glimmer of hope

when nothing’s left.

is that so wrong to ask?

i just want to mean something to someone.



we all want to mean something to someone.



he said fire,

it’s the ash of a thousand hopes burned away.

but ashes can be restored to flame.

these shattered hopes can be restored to dreams.

like a phoenix

that rises from the ashes enveloped in flames,

they are majestic and yet fragile.



he said be careful not to crush them.



but he is slaughtering his own dreams

by giving up

and throwing away all he'd worked for.

like the dying ember

he flicked off the porch,

his hope fades by the day.

how much longer until it's gone?

he should have followed his dreams

instead of watched them all burn

but he just let them all burn.

says he's too tired

tired of trying,

of being.


maybe someday he'll realize

the potential buried within

before all that's left of his ambition

is just the ashes—

a memory of what he could have become

blown away by the wind.



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