A Candle in the Mist

Look around you,

See your breath whispering words you can’t read.

Headlights glimmer in the mist,

Someone else alive at this hour.


You light a cigarette — yellow Spirit of course,

Though you swore your therapist you’d quit.

You swore him many things,

Time and a place to be remembered,

Thoughts you could never share,

Memories fleeting yet uncannily fresh,

The smell of a young girl’s room,

What losing a small buy-in to a friend feels like.


Big blind now, no worries.

Jack, seven suited — sure I’ll play this.

It’s February, and I’m outside,

Watching a candle flicker and melt,

Fighting for its reality,

As am I, shivering here in the mist,

Playing a game, just a game!

I’m destined to lose.


The air thickens around me, my candle ebbs,

I think of death as the flop shows two sevens,

So perhaps there’s life after all.


I remember a Thanksgiving spent with a friend,

Spent largely in his family’s basement,

Reading and playing Phantasy Star IV, listening to “Gloria.”

They probably thought I was insane (which I am).


My candle is almost out, it sputters and mutters

As the mist deepens. Soon I’ll have to leave,

My work unfinished, my moon invisible,

Song unsung, words unwritten, memories erased.


I am an unfinished human being,

A project in the works who may never be complete.

I am Cloud Strife; I am Alanis Morissette.


~ by Benji on 3 February 2016.

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