Serpent Fire

something in the cadence
breathing into the arrangements
that flow beneath your skin
gives you away; tell me
how many lives have you shed?
how many little deaths have you endured
to but rise from the smoldering rubble
of your past selves; i know
they’ll find discarded shackles
buried in scorched earth
engraved, e-g-o.

something tender
toward the truth of human nature
lingers knowingly in your gaze—
is it nothing or everything to say?
we all race to collect shining tokens
of singular lives well-lived; but i see
you were always a beast of burden
holding on to a world of dreams
that could span a hundred lifetimes,
running your fingers through
pockets filled with destinies
you ache to create.

so while others
spent their days chasing the sun
in ever-hesitating search for the horizon,
tell me, how many ways did you find it?
something magnetic in your eyes
tells of the lives you’ve spent
wandering the skyline,
of immense love in your veins
laced with pain of all the trials you faced—
i know you found the edge
of transformation.

how many
footsteps did you take
while your brave heart
went up in flames
until you basked, unafraid
in that brilliant white light?
tell me of those moments elapsed,
when courage took you past
the limits of perception—
it shows on your bones,
the fingerprints you left
from fearfully gripping yourself
as you stood on the ledge
with a song on your breath
and you fatally
dove inward.

won’t you trace for me
the changing forms of finality:
of rapture in the fall, where you
slithered deep till you crawled
through the eye of a storm
and emerged,
covered in ash?
i know each journey
brings you closer to understand
why Life only grasps at once—
destruction and creation
with one hand.

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