I drove under clouds of gray,
past ugliness and grace,
clear air and choking smoke,
just to find you waiting.
You sat next to me,
laughing, showing me what I needed to see,
telling me what I needed to hear.
Staring at you over coffee in L.A,
I heard the wind whisper in my ears,
swore I felt your hand upon my soul,
I wish I had.
So much to see in one day,
things I had never imagined,
parts of you I wish I had never seen,
they burn in me now.
Desperate acts of a foolish man,
this feeling nothing more material than steam,
drifting skyward from it's source,
a cup of coffee in L.A.
Now it is done,
nothing left to drink,
bitter residue all that remains,
nothing but the sour taste of the last sip.
Somewhere in the middle I missed,
failed to find what I had come there for,
failed to hear what I should have,
not what I needed to, not what I wanted to.
Who was I to assume that it was,
no more than a dream,
nothing more than a tangible substance,
a short smile under a clouded sky.
You never told me why,
was it that I wasn't the one you thought I was,
just some cheap surrogate for an earlier failing,
a way of proving that you weren't the one that was wrong.
Where will you go with him now,
back to the same place,
to drink the same cup of coffee,
share the same smile that you did with me.
Why did you choose me to play this game with you,
pull me from my grave only to murder me once again,
did you sacrifice me for your own sanity,
to prove that you could do it all again?
These tears fall from gray eyes now,
diluting purpose, distracting me from the truth,
falling onto cold pavement beyond the table,
leaving only temporary traces as you did.
The cold heart closed once again,
stung by this stiletto from your hand,
forced to recoil in disgust and pain,
back to the dark again.
Now we spin in separate circles,
you move off to deny what you started,
carefully constructing the reasons,
trying to start what you failed to do before,
using me as a reason to begin anew.
I wish I could say I hate you for it,
I don't.
I wish I could bring my wrath to bear on an easy target,
I cannot.
I wish I had some easy explanation,
some shred of light left to find the path.
Speaking of me then,
you pulled all the right levers,
pushed the appropriate buttons,
moved the control with a deft touch,
little did I know it was for your own gain.
Whoring myself came so easy when I look back on it now,
selling so much of myself to you for so little in return,
I remain here to beat dead hands against the walls,
stare face first into the rain,
and drown in agony.
It's all different now,
I drive past the same ugliness and grace,
through the same smoke clouded air,
only without that feeling of hope beating in my heart.
Once again I am alone,
maybe it's better this way,
to live on my own instead of by your side,
at least it happened now vice later.
I just wish you knew what you have wrought upon me,
could walk in my footsteps for just a moment,
trying to reconcile the differences in perspective,
trying to feel again.
The smoke dissipates,
I am privy to your reasoning now,
I know, I can see you for what you are,
scared child in an adult's garden,
fearful of your dreams slipping from you,
terrorized by the thought of solitude.
You would rather lash out as a caged animal,
than deal with the freedom of an open door,
a warm heart, ready to stand with you.
At any rate, it is done,
for that, I should be thankful,
yet why do I curse at myself?
For no reason other than regret?
For not having what I should have realized I could not?
These questions spill out in endless rivers,
all I know now it was all a lie,
the only thing a reality in this maze,
a cup of coffee in L.A.

original prose, Yurei, 2000