Ele-Mental

In my rage, I set fire to the field of daisies – it erupts in a haze, a harsh and dense cloud of smoke. The green withers into brown before it collapses into the ground.

I stare over the destruction, my heart pounding with regret. One bucket at a time, I pour water to douse the flames. The steam floats up and becomes a cloud, gathering thunder and raining down.

It sets ease to the fire, soothes my rampant desire for destruction….

Yet I still feel remorse at what I have done.

A chill spreads and numbs my bones, a frost crystallizing out of the cold. A single sprig of green is left – I hold it between my thumb and index finger. Still wet, but withered, it dies as slowly and painfully as all of the hope I have held in my chest for my trembling heart to lay to rest.

The morning’s sun melts away the icy layer, dribbling into a stream and filling up a void crater. The reflections on the surface match the light in my eyes – they flicker, they dwindle, they fall and they rise. A pool of saltless tears, it holds the echoes that nobody can hear across the vast and empty field. Prayers for mercy, prayers for touch. Her glassy surface never yields – no one comes to touch her.

And what will become of that desolate field? The plows come to mow away what is left of it, a valley filled with tiny, dainty skeletons shifted away in cold and heavy steel. Remnants of the grass remain stuck within the iron teeth – the giant sits abandoned with its duties no longer needed.

Days come, days go, and the grass sprouts again beneath the chained wheels. Tiny flower buds, creeping curiously where the sun called them. Maybe hopeful, though shy of all of the previous destruction. Will they trust the sun again? I do, when it shines just bright enough to turn the sky gold. I fantasize that life will break the casket that’s already begun to form a mold around my arms and legs, and will me to walk, to run again. As I rise from my proverbial grave, rust forms over the steel of the tractor.

And the weeds do the same, confident that strength will thrive again in the valley dense with their fallen men. Like the steel, I’ve grown so cold and impenetrable, my only shield my scarred skin that deflects all of those heavy blows. But the rust is eating tiny holes, making what was solid once again permeable.

Regardless of what I see myself as, I will be broken down, as nothing can’t be wilted – no tower won’t be tilted beneath a quake too powerful for its iron beams to hold steady against. The tractor is pronounced dead when its engine rumbles with dread, and it is towed forlornly out of the field, to no longer be an eyesore to those who pass without much care.

The roots release, they say farewell. They won’t miss that chapter of their cyclic hell. I say good-bye too, as I would say good-bye to you were you to uncover your ears and hear my voice take to the wind. I wish for you to touch me again, as I’ve touched all of these things and left them dead beneath my fingertips.

To the bottom of the ocean, the old scraps sink. The fish flee at the disturbed currents, peaking through the algae to see this sunken behemoth. It slumbers. Farewell. But is that the end?

Still, air summons itself from the tractor’s cracks and crevices and bubbles to the surface of the sea. Breathe. The foam licks the shore, and here I am to watch how unsure the current appears beneath a full moon. In this eerie light, so many shadows loom. In these strange bright beams, I see you – or your eyes, the way they glitter with so much emptiness. Your eyes, the way they hold my reflection, the true one without the bones and skin but the one that’s a casket with a screaming being within.

Where the water meets the shore, there is a dense and silky clay. Between my fingers I can mold it, but it quickly melts away. What can I do to make it stay? As God breathed life into sand from the sea, he didn’t seem to have much left for me, as I stare into the salt and brine and wonder what it feels like to die with my lungs filled with the scales of fish.

But then, you would call me selfish….

Yet, you didn’t seem to care much when I lived. The dead don’t hear you cry; they care for your regret as much as the charred field cared for mine. When the blade has struck flesh, one can no longer apologize, as the blood hears no remorse when it is drained onto the floor.

The clay is whisked away, pushed back deep into the sea, and somewhere it becomes an island – somewhere that island grows a tree. And when that tree spreads its seeds, a forest looms on that tiny piece of land where the sand and sea convene. The roots hold it all together to a tiny paradise, where I’ll set sail to one night and lie beneath the foliage.

The island births a field, one that is filled with daffodils that dance in a warm breeze. The summer creates a dry heat that makes it difficult to breathe. These plants and seedlings stifle me. I feel the fire in my heart once more. Fire. I crave it when I stand on the shore.

Cyclic are my impulses, eternity never resolving to forgive me for all of the damage that I have done. If only I could disappear as easily as a daisy within an ember. Then perhaps, become part of a lake, part of a rain cloud, part of an ocean and then an island. Desolate, alone, with no one to hurt me – save for myself, of course.

I flick my lighter. The peace has run its course. I want to fill the air with rage again, to feel, because to feel something is better than to feel nothing when none of it is real. Elemental and surreal, atomic and microscopic, unheard and disregarded are the tiny salt tears in a freshwater lake.

Just take me away and make me as malleable as clay. Shape me into something that can be loved. Give me feathers, birth me as a dove, and I will never again feel hate or rage or any dreadful plague. And if by chance I did, I would spread my wings and fly away to leave those awful things for dead. I’d rise like an angel with no tears left to shed, and turn my head from the earth below to forever forget regret.

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