And It Comes Down to Blood and Fire

on being a living ghost of a person you don't even like or resemble
12/05/2020. total words: 383

nobody knows who the first ghost was. lucy, maybe? adam? a great pool of souls and minds, and all we ever did was stir from death's embrace long enough to weep. i break fragments of memories over my hands and let them slice red, let them heal white, and i am a breathing boy in a dead girl's skin, and how dare i not wish to be someone's ghost, just for a moment, sing their love back to someone they cared about.
i only ever wanted to be myself. i can handle being known but i draw the line at being perceived, at being seen as something i'm not, and yet i've been wrapped in so many ghosts that it's a wonder i don't consider myself a phoenix.
but ah, that requires burning. that requires a knife and a trust that the flames will bring me back from the cool, chilling depths of death's dark sanctum, under the waves in the damp of the world, in the daybreak's dew of your rainbow tears.
if you wish to look upon me, then see me. don't you dare look upon this crumbling ashen temple and call yourself its god when all that was ever here were ghosts and gods and a quiet deification.
i spent so long pretending to decay until i could believe it, until i could see the lichen over these desecrated marble walls. you can hear the creak of wandering ghosts against the floorboards, you know.
and still i would abandon this body. and still i would cut myself free of it, if i believed in fire.
how far deep into these scars must i go until it comes down to blood and fire and rainbow dew of tears? until the downpour isn't enough to keep me from breathing?
we stirred from death's embrace long enough to live, those lucky few of us, and still yet we forsake it all for ghosts.
just once, let it come back to the start, to blood and fire and centuries-deep wounds i'm still licking the teardrops from. to the fire that might still yet set me free.
then, in the quiet culling of the world, in that sorrow's-song that turns to joy, i will burn to embers, and spread ever-stronger wings, and leave this ground.