Land of Lingering

I walk among preserves,

not people.

A world-weary wanderer

weary of his travels,

but restless in his soul.

 

These stone and ivy ruins,

these empty, rain-slicked city streets,

these brown, bare, and dying forests,

these deserts, almost empty of their sands

as if the old gods turned a

cosmic hourglass

all turn to ash beneath a

merciless sun.

 

I see them, these presences.

They hail me in greeting, waving as I pass,

weep in their newly refreshed grief,

and chase and curse me

in their superstitions.

 

Their children run up to me,

and sing to me,

tugging at my clothes and hair,

encircling me in their games

that light up their young, ancient faces,

their silent laughter fully formed in echoes of time.

 

They all linger just outside the senses

like lights flickering on the sea,

instantaneous glimpses

of what was,

and what will be again.

 

“Wait for us,” they say. “We will return.”

 

I long to sit, and eat, and rest,

but over it all,

the emptiness and solitude

goad me ever onward,

my own essence

lingering still among them.

 

I hope it brings them comfort.

 

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