It isn’t you, although you have told yourself time and time again
that it must be me, and maybe it is.
Maybe I have given up on being your phoenix,
awaiting the next needy moment that disastrously burns everything
but my soul. And I suppose my ability to rise again
was exciting the few times it occurred–watching beauty burning in the
twilight, only to erupt in a roar of glory.
You said I was magnificent, that you were in awe of my strength.
You had never attempted to fully allow someone to take all of you
for fear that you’d never return. You said it was your
mother’s fault, that her venom was too powerful to take such risks.
I only nodded my head in a disillusioned agreement, since I knew
the wrath of mothers and lived in fear of fathers.
I could have seen the signs, they were drawn along your veins like
invisible lines pleading to be set free. Each touch a cosmic reminder
that this world had betrayed us both and our bodies were destined for the stars.
I should have felt the embers once you learned there was a power hidden
among my desire to somehow complete you, breathing in unsuspecting need
to drain me of everything good.
It wasn’t your fault, you whispered as fangs bit down and my energy
became yours. You had become intoxicated by its allure, seeing that fire as
your only escape from a past riddled with indecision.
And I, well, I have been here before;
my feathers ruffled and colors burning brighter with every ignite
regardless of who started or ended the fight.
It was I who took the first flight, but I only did so to get a better view,
and that was when you knew how I had survived all the scars that glitter among
the moonlight. That was when you sprung like your mother, the one person
you feared in your life.
You embodied her lack of compassion, but told me I was not giving enough.
Secrets line the darkness like my light lined yours, and you coiled if I began
to examine too closely.
You were never trying to consume, and yet every mark along my body warned
that I was soon to disappear. There was something about you,
even you had seen others find it despite your inability to find it yourself, too.
We were drawn to your shine, it could illuminate and dim all at the same time.
A mesmerizing effect as one approaches; no one knew whether to hold you or run
once you got too close. And yet, my feathers found a home as you held me close with
your words, and I told myself this would be enough. I didn’t open my eyes, just as you
had asked. You said it was so you could describe every detail, and yours lit up the night
behind closed lids, and I could taste and touch and believe in all of it. But, maybe, that
is what you truly wanted me to do, it did give you time to attempt to drain me dry.
But, had you forgotten my spirit was blazing deep within? I have never needed the light
of another to be able to see in the dark. Living amongst terror only provided me a chance
to shine a light for others, so you couldn’t have guessed that my home was always darker
than who you could become. It didn’t matter if you were you, or the shadow of someone I
You all come for the same purpose, and because my wings opened with grace,
Each of you believed you could take it all without leaving a trace.
But, that isn’t how it works, since my scars hold the embodiment of knowledge and experiences abound.
For once you attempt to take, I can begin to see what it is you truly mean to find
as my embers begin to dim within. But you could never have known, since
my actions are not based on fear alone, so a moment that you’d run is one I’d try
since it only builds my spirit when it needs to finally ignite the dreadfilled sky.
And that is when I leave, the moment you feel you’ll be complete by leaving me obsolete.
I ashen to ruins, and hold my breath-I take from within and give it to hope instead.
Repeat the mantra, breathe in my very last breath. And then I ignite brighter than
any of your daylight’s become–leaving you bewildered as I take flight
whole yet completely undone.
briah nicole k luther