I. For the First Time

I was ready
The sun was nice and high in the sky
The tide ebbing and flowing below
ready to consume me whole
as ready as I was to be consumed

I closed my eyes
for what was supposed to be the last time
before my demise
My mind picked this time to play tricks on me
making me believe
that someone was shouting my name
in the distance
this was no chicanery of the psyche
Someone really was calling out to me
but by a name
that I only know myself as
in the deepest intimacies of my mind

He looked old
disturbingly so
though concerned as I was
Those sunken eyes and fragile limbs
had a boldness to them

I watched him as he ran
descended to his hands and knees and crawled
I couldn’t understand it at all
It seemed as if
every move he made forward
added another year to his appearance
but he wouldn’t stop
Once more
he favored a hand
which held a small box

I really didn’t know what to do
aside from run to him
He started dry heaving
coughing up blood
bleeding from freshly made wounds
that would suddenly appear
as if unseen daggers in the air
were slashing at him
Punishing him
for not heeding the warning to beware
a moment like the Ides of March
a time which was now upon him

It just felt natural
I picked him up
In spite of his suffering
he looked at me
with the eyes of a young child
whose wish had just been granted

With his last breath
and final smile
he spoke
and I distinctly heard him ask
[Will you marry me?]

Even through the disbelief and confusion
I felt
he was somehow
in some way important to me
I turned my attention towards
the box he held in his hand

I didn’t believe
that it would be worth what he suffered
just to marry me

I took the box and opened it
secretly afraid I would unleash worse evils
than Pandora had
though such a blunder wasn’t meant to be so
Inside the box was a ring
Harmless and golden
accompanied by a note
Strangely enough
it was one that I wrote
It could’ve been stolen
or forged by someone who knows my hand
but I’m quite specific with my penmanship
with idiosyncrasies that are difficult to mimic

I was taken aback
quite baffled
I had absolutely no recollection of writing it
once more
it was only a list of dates and occasions
most of which happened
before I was born
I’ve always had a distaste
for the study of history
so if this was truly written by me
I should’ve remembered
I could say that it was
with absolute certainty
As certain as I was
that I could have no memory of it
As entranced by the thought as I had been
I decided to set it aside
revisit it another time

This ring that he gave me
It was beautiful
with the most charming stones
For whatever reason
I tried it on
I felt fear and awe run through my soul
as it began to glow
In a moment
I was engulfed within a pulsating aura
in another moment
I was in a room with a man
who greeted me with loving eyes and a warm smile
The same man
who I saw age rather rapidly
until he was withered and worn
Disintegrated into sand lost from an hourglass
and blown away by the wind

But now he stood before me
Full, intact and healthy
and he seemed quite happy

Apparently the ring on my finger
had some sort of enchantment
or something similar
I couldn’t understand
or process everything he said to me
only to a certain degree

He said it might be a while
before I can see him again
but the more I understand my emotions
and myself
the easier it will be for me
to bring myself to him
A concept that sounded so strange at the time

He said I must go back
A time of new beginnings is upon us
We must be prepared
Suddenly he was gone
I was alone
Facing the powdered remains of a man
that the wind had yet to take away

It still doesn’t fully make sense to me
Though I may be looking forward
to what kind of future is in store
As for now I know I’m not ready
Before we parted
Out of curiosity
I had asked him how he first knew of me
He craftily avoided the question
though not very skilled
at hiding the tear that escaped from his eye
carrying some painful memory with it
He refused to tell me
or feed me a lie
I’m assuming
I’ll find out

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

2. Another Time and Place