Two side-by-side images of a flower. The original illustration, on the right, is of a pristine abstract lily. The image on the left was intentionally overworked (in a fashion not unlike most of the 90s).

Tomorrow will probably not take care of itself, so please do not wait to sleep
until you are dead. How will you build
memories of
now, then?

Do you not still feel that? The arrhythmic pulse pushing thin blood through
your stretchy veins? True, it is not enough for
everything we
But do you even remember the worlds we spun together? You could
stare into any space and find filmy fragments and
weave them into a story and let that
story seep into the deepest
places and then watch
with bemused awe as
your countenance
You do not even need to stand for that. Do you not recall the places we
hid—not out of fear, but out of a reluctance to give up even
a bare second of dreaming? Fanciful wishes, perhaps
it seems—and yet, you are still finishing
the citadels. How fanciful have you
found the years of effort
required to solidify
the places you
conjured to
truly be?

Loosen your linen shroud and let the fires cool. Return the stolen trinkets—
you have not even touched your inheritance, what did you think you
needed with urns filled with kitschy keepsakes of a life
you did not live? It is true you cannot have
it all but that is no reason to
keep everything packed
like this.
Fortunately, we have found that we are neither of us skilled at embalming.
I think you should be able to slide those
bits right back in—they are still
pink with life.
Do you yet admit to yourself that you see visions? That you are called from
sleep to sketch the future? I have not heard this truth from your
mouth in a while. You speak of learning to know your
power but how can that be if you
cannot even perceive
the presence
of life?

So many years of trying; you would think we would be further along
than this. With all the things you think you lived, how
could you forget:
you still live.

But perhaps you’re right. Perhaps you are merely wishing for the air
filling your lungs. Perhaps you have long since stopped breathing.
How droll of me, to have assumed you had not of course
foreseen all paths there are to see. I am quite
certain you considered all eventualities
before you began cancelling
the afternoon
Or did you merely fear that no one would attend on a such a dreary day?
Do not get me wrong, I am not sad to have wasted perfectly
appropriate mourning threads. I dress like this every
morning, just in case—
you never
But yes, I do agree we can spend the remaining light on far more fruitful
things. Did you even finish carving your name into the stone?
See, of course you were right to quit, regardless of
your reasons. Why, lilies
are not even
in season.