Written in cahoots with a dear friend.... a little sap for your Holidays. Published in Issue 3 of U Magazine.
He stood on the pier, a boy inside a man suit, ten steps from the brink of being totally complete.
The girl inside the boat popped her head out of the cabin, a burgeoning electrical charge having caught her attention. She put her nose to the air and listened. What she thought she'd find was a summer thunderstorm - her favorite kind of rain. What she actually found was him, standing on the dock, looking at her with a dazed expression on his face. She knew immediately he was the source of the mysterious pain that had always lived inside her heart.
To achieve maturity and the right color
A soul will need to travel at least
The distance of the eye to the heart, in slivers
Taking with it the day’s accomplishments
Sliding on broken dreams, stockpiling personal madness
When he was born, his mother was the only one who saw the small sliver of his soul that broke off during birth. The sliver was beautiful and filled her heart with awe, mixed with a wee bit of fear that her child should be not be complete without it. As the splinter floated by her wide eyes, it found the tiniest currents of air to stay aloft. She reached for it, focusing so hard that the din of child birth faded, the joy and pain surrounding her, suddenly not as important as recapturing this small part of her boy's soul - but she could not catch it. Being one of the most aerodynamic things in the universe, the sliver floated higher and shone in every color, all limned with silver, in the bright fluorescent rays of the birthing room lights. There it floated for eight years, needing only the slightest of air movement to keep from settling to the floor. The boy was incomplete, something he felt keenly as the years passed into adulthood. His mother apologized to him on her death bed, “I tried to get it back for you,” she said as she passed, knowing that he knew of what she spoke. He said nothing.
When arriving in its prone position
The soul accepts everything new by kneeling
Like conversing with a child on propped elbows, smiling
Judging intuitively, leaking innocence like a viscous new oil
Grasping for what is perfectly solid, synergistic
One day a baby girl was born, and her soul was as whole and as perfect as a soul could be. Her beauty and fullness of self coalesced with the joy of her mother and formed a moment. A moment in which time stood still just long enough, causing the sliver of soul to drop out of the air and land in the baby girl’s eye. The intrusion of the splinter made the baby girl cry for her entire first year. Her parents were frustrated and scared of the incessant wailing, but no doctor could diagnose the problem. One day an old woman on the subway noticed the baby girl's distress. She tried to tell the mother what the problem was and how to calm the little one's pain, because after all, it hurt to hold someone else's soul, when your own was already complete. The mother dismissed the old woman as senile and cursed the wailing of the child. One day the sliver finally passed from the baby girl’s eye, slipping into her bloodstream and finally her heart, remaining there with only the occasional twinge. The baby girl grew into a lovely young woman, still possessing her perfect soul, having gained wisdom and strength from all the years of being the keeper of the boy-man's sliver. From time to time, the sliver made her restless and overfull, giving her an unsettled ache somewhere in the region of her heart. The urge to share herself scraped at her, for she possessed no real knowledge of what there was to be shared, or even who it was she was meant to be sharing it with.
If you try and hold it in your hands
The soul will fill your thoughts with wonderful pencil sketches
Of a life you could have if you only took heed, gracefully
A roadmap of simplicity, sprouting the divine, easing worries
Hold it too long and slip, addiction, death, loosen your grip
Long before the sad day of the boy’s mother passing, she had sat in the garden every afternoon with tea in solitude. She whispered her secret to the wind hoping to ease the guilt she felt for not catching and restoring the boy’s soul the day he was born. One spring day, a raven caught her secret and like a silver chain took it back to his nest below the boy’s window. Every time the boy opened the window, the raven would taunt him, cackling (as all nosy ravens will, given the chance) that the boy had no soul, that his mother had stolen it at birth. The boy had believed the bird, because he'd always felt that there was something missing from his life. As he grew, a deep melancholy hung around his head and he searched for his soul, never knowing quite where to look.
When the right one plucks at that part of your soul
Meant for sharing and welds it, mixed media sculpture
Bending it to fit theirs and coveting it mightily
Time stops….rendering life as we know it useless
Creating an aurora of beauty and bliss we don’t deserve
All of this leads us to where we began: with the girl on the boat, with the boy clothed in a man's form, staring in silent stupefaction at one another. Breaking the stillness, the girl reached down and pulled him onto her boat, smiling so hard her face hurt. When their fingers touched, both of them jerked slightly, their fingers lacing together instinctively. Her heart felt as if it would explode. She looked at him, her eyes welling with tears. Everything that the girl was, was given to him in that one instant. He gasped for air as her beauty and perfect soul created a vacuum of sorts within his own, his mind humming at the perfect frequency for what seemed like eternity. As the unity of these two souls came into being, there grew a lightness so overwhelming, it made anyone within a mile radius of the boat reflect for a moment about all the things important to them. He looked down into her eyes and spoke for the first time, in a voice that felt like pure honey to her ears.
What he said was, hello…
What she heard was, I love you…
What he meant was, I’m yours.
Her soul trembled as the splinter in her heart slipped out through the tears in her eyes, to be kissed up by his lips from her cheek. They walked along the riverbank, hands and hearts and selves entwined. She felt peace as all her puzzle pieces fell into place, and he felt complete as his world finally slid into a place he knew was home.
The penultimate place for the soul
Is in her pocket tight, brought forth for playing
For the ultimate place could be high in the air
Gravity is no match for the aerodynamics
The question remains, does it empty again?