February 24th, 2013

Picking apart the pieces of a pinecone
Digging with fingertips sore from the pain
From the sharp edges of a hardened core
The consistent pulling apart to pry open
The heavy wooden doors of the heart
Individually plucking the pieces like the strings of a harp
Angels screaming when the pluck turns to a pull
Like a sharp withdrawal of breath
That doesn’t belong in your lungs
This poison of decay
Not the decay of fall
Like the slowly drifting leaves that cascade
From heights unattainable by man
That can only be felt by the swift sigh of the wind
Between your grasping fingertips
Like the grasping fingers of your love
That slips away because you weren’t strong enough
To hold on to them as they begged with teary eyes
Looking up at you from the great descent
And you let them go, knowing you couldn’t bear the weight
Of both of you and the love that was creating a canopy
Over your heads and compressing your hearts
And lungs until even the soft scent of fall could not revive you
On this cold winter day
As the last of the fall leaves are being swept away down the stream
Where you once cast little paper boats
Wondering as you held hands where they would land
Hoping for fantasy but knowing even as your fingers unwove
That they would end caught in the dam of nature
Of things never quite meant to be
But it wasn’t enough to make you say no
Even as you plucked the ribs of a pinecone
Asking whether she loved you or not
Like petals of a daisy that have atrophied and petrified
Just as the bitterness of the question has cemented in your heart
Like a cancer hardening you from the inside out
Until you are as purely petrified
As the dissected limbs of lumber left for dead
Each band stands out, creating a carousel of time
But the Braille of years gone by has become illegible
Leaving you to remember the lost sound of symphonies
Music notes echoing into starless nights
Caught in cashmere skies cascading with rain
Where only the earthy smell of Petrichor remains
And the scattered scales of the barren pinecone
Left in the fall foliage like spent shells of artillery
Even these bullets cannot stop the pain in you
As you abandon the stripped pinecone
And begin to pull apart the sharp edges of yourself
To find the hardened core within
Hollow it out until it is empty
And start over again

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