The three vigils

If we sink into the perilous kingdom of grief and retribution,
sin-branded souls howling to atmosphere of earth and flame,
shades descending the black staircase in veiled waves of disillusion
and shrieking as agonous tongues roast what’s left of their decrepit hearts,

it will be penitence for breaking our bread on the altar of nihilism,
for bloodmarked nights of shallow graves to which we don’t confess,
for honest repentance and white-cloaked righteousness
we never dragged from our burn-blackened throats.

                                                     Meet me in the farthest room at the lowest floor.
A lesser fate, if you can call it that.
Oblivion but for the awareness of self and time.
Cool indifference unrolling in every direction, nameless
silhouettes moving through the mist in eternal
succession, a barren stretch of the uncondemned
who never left a candle to warm the hands of the living.

A thrush of breath, a stirring in the grey,
or a scrap of paper dead in my pocket.
The last world will whisper through our death,
a hazy memento of your indelible essence.
A spark of memory will send a stream of air
high and clear between my lips.

                 Whistle out to call for me. We’ll walk through the fallow side by side.
And if we end and begin at the aureate threshold of glory,
astonished apotheosis into epicurean sublimity
into a luminescent demesne of wings and holy chorus
as seraphim lead us through chryselephantine doors,

it will be for the moments we let hope take our hand,
or allowed some stifled and innate love lead us on.
All of our humble graces, diminished in the face
of this remembered, amaranthine refrain.

Come find me in the crowds pouring into light. We will march in together and behind.

-M. Alden & co.


2 thoughts on “The three vigils

  1. Reminds of Eliot in a good way — not derivative, but evocative, especially the italicized lines. Powerful, as pain and despair pass upward into love and hope. Shades (pun intended) of Dante as well. But always in your voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m thrilled that the Dante references came through, and that it evoked Eliot is humbling (though the italicized lines are the ones for which I can’t claim much credit; hence the “& co.”). Thank you very much.

      Liked by 1 person

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