My Empire, Collapsed


Photo credit: Daniel Eskridge

So this is what my empire has been built upon:
A cracked foundation, that even now,
As I sign edicts to expand my domain
And further the reach of my dominion,
Crumples beneath my feet,
Leaving every effort to improve—
To expand and prosper—
Hollow and futile.
Though the season for another harvest draws near,
No crops will yield in this barren fallow,
Devoid of nutrients, inhospitable to sustenance;
And there, beyond the horizon
You bring forth your armies,
Armed with castigation and ridicule,
Tongues sharpened with prevarication,
Stinging me with baseless criticism.
Is it a wonder I flee before you
When you have uprooted me with your own hand?
So do not dare to chase me
Or hurl spears at my back
As I retreat from my kingdom to more fertile lands,
Enveloped in peace and hospitality;
Do not sneer in jealousy
When you court trade and import with another,
As though our one-sided alliance is in fair taste.
I have looked to a new horizon
And found something better,
So you can repair the foundation of the empire
I have left to collapse;
And should you fail in your endeavors,
Noble as you assure me they are,
Do not look to me to forge a new path for you;
My hammer is yours to wield no longer.



Monolith beach

So long after leaving this field
To rot and decay,
Devoid of precipitation,
Now laid waste even in bloom,
Your voice has echoed
Across this Morphean ether
Where my emotions lay dormant,
Imprisoned by reason and selfishness
To conserve the well-being
Of a deprived host.
Stirred from inertia,
The shock bolsters a stress long suppressed,
Detonating and crumbling this construction
Before your tenacious, anchored feet:
Mere rubble beneath a deific monolith,
Threatening to mummify what remains
In a sarcophagus of unrelenting ignorance.
Despite these pleas you volley
In hopes of I don’t know what—
Comfort or reassurance, maybe?—
I must not engage in this kabuki,
Because I am far too jejune
To maintain posture in the face of your desperation.
Prescience is a curse, despite what they posit,
And though the shaman foretold your fate,
You sought to play god yourself
And craft your own future.
Now, when all has collapsed,
Your gall in turning to me is repugnant,
For I gave you warning
And you chose, at your peril, to ignore me.


Alone in the crowd

She sidles along the edge
Between light and shadow,
A soul caught between kindness
And the necessity of intimacy;
Whoring friendship out
To every casual passerby,
Meandering from company to company,
Buying drinks, sharing laughs,
Every interaction as vapid as the last.
At night she’s still alone,
Even when bodies lay beside her,
Feeding her sorrow with the deprivation
Afforded by perpetuated disconnection;
Because in this exposé of camaraderie
There is no true friendship,
No one to turn to in the darkest hours,
Because everyone is pushed away,
Kept at that comfortable distance
To keep her spirits high in the sunlight
While guarding them from her insecurities
And the strife that flogs her every day.
In the end, returned silence
Is her closest companion;
All else is muted,
And she has not yet discovered
How to vivify her world.