Home Poetry Present Tense

Present Tense

by Stephanie Alfaia

Night falls and brings an end to another day. Days fill lives with routine and illustrate with mechanism. A cycle of sunrise and sunset, days to months to years, the periodical shift from summer to fall to winter to spring. Endless debris scatter, sprinkle, and float in the air. Particles of hope, positivity disguised as dust, negativity in the form of snow. A cigarette is lit. The slow burning paper fills with calmness. An absolute silence that conveys peace and slowly replaces anxiety. All is still, all is quiet. The kitchen window locked tight, keeps the pressure outside. The only sound is inhale, a momentary act of hope, and exhale, the release of all inner confusion. A blank stare, a motionless body, yet the cigarette burns slowly. A blue light reflects on the face of a hopeless romantic. Stillness echoes onto the streets.

From the window, trees sway to a mute tune of the universe’s most revered composition – the music of the Earth’s soul. Traffic lights flicker, red green, red yellow, to red green. Duality at its finest: two roads connect by one dual sided light. Two roads connect by a midpoint, rather, they connect by guidance. Paved paths continue despite the lights that flicker, yet their destiny respects the meaning the lights impose. The roads cannot continue on without guidance, regardless of the eminent fact that they continue on. Lights now red green. Red for invisible passerby’s who must wait, green for those who happen to be, by chance or not, on the other end of the spectrum – on the other end of the road. Angles depending on the stander’s position. Find yourself on the right side and you needn’t wait. Follow the correct road, pace appropriately, breathe when necessary and find yourself on the right side. The invisible body that waits, waits on guidance. The invisible waits on opportunity, sheer approval to go. Without guidance the roads may continue but the invisible cannot cross for they halt at the unknown.

All is silent, then a heartbeat. A single heart beats from inside the locked window. A thud whispers, a thud dances, the thud beats on its own accord. The beats create music for the silence it embodies. The beat plays to an unknown song, a song that lacks a base. The heart beat wonders idly when the base comes in, yet it continues to play. The music grows louder. It fills the air and becomes the conductor. The heartbeat conductor guides the breath into an inhale and an exhale. The cigarette joins the symphony and adds a harmonica aspect of strength. Strength that springs from weakness, a symbol of control. A thought attached to an act. If the cigarette calms, it controls the heart beat. Suddenly, the thin white char that burns ceases to be. No other source of light, save the blue light reflection.

He listens to the music his heart creates. He looks at the the trees that sway, the lights that flicker, the invisible bodies that cross. All part of his symphony, the music of a lonely soul. The heartbeat asks for the base as time runs thin. He looks beyond the window, his eyes glimmer sadly at the sky, and he wonders if she hears the song he is sending out beyond the horizon.

© 2014 Stephanie Alfaia Gomes All Rights Reserved

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