Once upon a night

Where darkness stumbled through

Like a drunken man

Who lost his sight

But remembered her face

And the tune—



The tune was all he needed

And he hummed

Into her ear—

It sounded like a sigh,

Smelled like beer—

From a war torn land

Where forgetting

Became the People’s glue.



He held her close

In a tumbling world

Where up was down,

Every other face

A clown—

A smile painted on

To hide thickening frowns.



Smiles melted

From their eyes

Into lips

Soft and open wide

With laughter

The kind—

You know the kind—

Where nothing else matters

The glitter or the tatters,

Anything outside

May as well have been

A lie.



Inside they,

Outside all the others,

The children and the mothers

The sisters and the brothers,

The ones who could not be,

Should not be


Inside they,

The two whose balance


Whose hearts were


In one another,

For a million reasons

In and out of seasons

Buoyant in their love

And in their treasons

Like pirates setting sail

With the treasure

Of their journey and

Their tale.



Then the poles—

The north and the south—

Tilted and slipped

She fell

And he pulled

Held on with his hand

Attached to his will

Stretched out his body

Like a limb on a tree

Ravaged by winds

Near the deafening sea

Until all the leaves were stripped

And his hand

And his girl

Tripped off the side of the world

Into the February zodiac

Where nothing is seen

And no one comes back.



He stood on the edge

Put his toes near the ledge

Looked into space

Now letting her fall

He wanted to follow

His heart was quite hollow

But instead

He chose to stay.



He settled on the ground

Where the earth is round

But it feels like a surface

Flat enough to stand

So he stood in his place

Like a wobbling disgrace

He chose safety

Over love

And the earth

Over space.



As he looked to the stars

Where his heart gently spun

Like a remnant above—

His floating memoirs—

He tried hard to see,


His plea,

“I had to let her go—

I hope


or someone

will forgive me.

Forgive my weakness

color in the bleakness

turn cowardice to courage

so my confidence can flourish—“

Then he stifled his words

Dropped his head to his hands

Regretted his safety

And forgot how to stand.



One thought

One instant

Came into his mind

The moment they kissed

On a street

Near a light

When the air was cold

But her breath gave him life

Away from the present,

Hidden from strife.



He remembers her now

Like a woman,

Like a knife.



copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo Credit:  German artist Mark Slavin.  Please feel free to further explore Mark’s art on his website and/or Facebook page: Mark’s Website , Mark’s Facebook Page )