Skip to content

OSI: “Manifest”

So here’s the thing:

With my third Blogoversary closing in, I have been busy scribbling away to create some, ahem, “interesting” content for the readers out there who have, despite all common sense, stuck with me over the past 1100 days. So, y’know, get ready for THAT.

In the meantime, however, I’ve also been writing some more serious stuff (serious being my code word for “gut-wrenchingly difficult due to the fact that I have never taken anything seriously, ever”) as a way of dealing with a difficult issue in my life – saying goodbye to someone I’ve loved for so long I can’t remember a day when she wasn’t in my thoughts. I knew two minutes (OK, twenty seconds) after we met that I loved her, that I would willingly lay down in front of a bus or face a charging Limbaugh or (gasp) live willingly in a state below the Mason-Dixon if she demanded it. Although we’ve seen our share of ups and downs, ultimately it was not meant to be ( a sad, toothless little phrase that does a poor job of conveying the void of aborted potentiality it must convey). As a slow learner, I discovered this fact (or more correctly, acknowledged it) after five years in a halting pasa doble of innuendo, flirtation and whispered indecencies. There is a certain romantic charm to an nonreciprocal, helpless adoration; the poetess in me has long wallowed in this bittersweet mire. But even I, the mistress of impractical, improbable love, have my limits.  There is a finite amount of torture my masochistic heart is willing to endure, even for her.

So, with this prompted poem (said prompt being provided by the fine folks over at One Single Impression), I want to say (both to her (again) and myself, because my fickle little charcoal heart is capricious and willful):

Goodbye, my love.



This is not a bill.

What would I, could I charge for my heart,
torn from its moorings, set adrift in the tempestuous chestnut swells
of those ensorcelling, sun-chased eyes?

How can I itemize the moments, stolen and shared,
the whispers, the lightest of touches to a hand, a thigh, a breast?
The sweet cinnamon sin of your breath on my cheek?

This is not a bill.

It’s more of a statement, really;
The sort one receives in a windowed, nondescript envelope,
A dry, skeletal accounting of one’s passions, one’s pursuits, one’s…


I sometimes wonder if you knew, that day,
that you had thrown wide the glassine doors of my timid scholar’s heart,
That you had swept in like a whirlwind carrying burning butterflies,
terrible and strange and ineffably, inexorably beautiful.

Setting everything ablaze with a touch, laughing in the fell light,
resplendent in swirling fairy-rings of ash.
A goddess of the reaping.

Did you have a flash of prescience, in that nondescript hall?
A brief image of my jester’s face in broken mime,
again and again, collapsing in on itself as you
extended your glamour and your charms to others more worthy of
such treasures, only to save the details for me –
a confidence without, shall we say, confidence?

Did you know, with instinctive grace, that I would gladly be the architect
of  my own masochistic immolation, so long as I could behold you from the
stake as the flames climbed up my feet?

No, this is not a bill.

I took inventory today, amidst the ash and flame-curled parchments
left behind; a surprising number of documents remain intact,
but of course one can never REALLY get the smell out, can one?
Smoke damages, darkens, destroys in its own insidious way
the things not lost (as they say) in the fire.

Fire cleanses, so we’re told, and having cleaned and closed
those glass-brick doors once more, for the first time I see
In the scuffs and cinders of this charred, ramshackle heart
the clean white lines of, if not redemption, then perhaps a kind of peace;

A columbine shape beneath the ashes,
Wings spread wide in anticipation of a hope
Yet to manifest.


Published in"The Gay."BlogIll-conceived schemesJust the tiniest bit of obsessionLGBTOne Single ImpressionpoetryUncharacteristic Sincerity


  1. Brilliantly put.

  2. Thank you! It was a bit of an uphill battle. Thanks for visiting and your comment!

Let me know what YOU think.

All content ©2000-2017 Claire M. Jackson

Claire De Lunacy™ is using WP-Gravatar