My Desolation

I cannot release you, I cannot release me

I turn the past over and over
like a pebble, in the palm of my hand
and like the pebble,
the past does not diminish
or become softer to the touch
as I roll it back and forth and back again

The past, far from fading
becomes heavier and harder to hold
It ebbs and flows until I no longer know
what is past and what is now
I cannot distinguish
the pleasure from the pain

Just waves of emotions, again and again
and an aching desire to release the past
the pebble, to fling it far from me
out into the undulating waves of the sea
that are serenading me
with their soft, sibilant whispers

The siren songs, the memories
that I both long for and fear
the past calling constantly
then retreating, into the emptiness, with me
where for seconds and minutes
I cannot breathe

Then in familiar repetition
it turns back to me
as I, in my desolation
turn back to thee
and I cannot do it
I cannot set you free

I cannot release you
I cannot release me
So I clutch the pebble so tightly
that my hand bleeds
and my heart weeps
as the light flees

© Ann Bagnall

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