Armored Out of Will

Waking from a troubled sleep my eyes twitch open, and peer through two small holes. A smell like a damp cave floats into my nostrils, for a moment I forget where I am. A seize of panic, and as quickly as I awoke, I remember and relax. Many nightmares come to me and leave me convulsing and sweating frantically in my sleep, only, to finally wake me in a peak of duress and return me to a world devoid of contact; these senses atrophy and a slice of life is forsaken. It is not often that one's waking begets a desire to return to one's nightmare. My mouth is covered from the ecstasies of food, my lips crack like drought has set upon them, my nose only encounters my stale breath and my eyes have grown veined and bloody - over stressed as the single pair of ambassadors to the world that continues so elegantly outside my bitter cage. I wear a mask of stone. It is the armor I never asked for, the defense I wish, so badly, would fail. That it is upon me is all that matters, not the who nor the whey nor the when. But against delicacies like food and water, or the smells of my home, I weigh an obstinate desire to be kissed. I watch my lover float across our floor. Past the end of the bed she busies herself - aware that her fidelity emanates from her distraction; the former only possible through the latter. I call to her and in ideal and principle she is mine, but between us stretches an expanse of unknown - a grisly desert, filled with gruesome pictures of incomplete communication and forgotten passion. A land of decay has inherited every word I kept to myself - where there should have been embraces of confirmation lie mangled bones shaped to say, 'you missed your chance'. And with every opportunity I sent to its end, a piece of my mask was added. Quickly my mouth was taken - guarded in stone, barred and gated - never would I kiss her, or speak without a maddening echo. But soon the dirt and dust of the thieving stone accumulated on my cheeks and forehead. And just as quikcly as I came to know what it meant to rest my face against another's, I realized the toruture in taking that touch away. She would approach me, I'd follow her with my eyes. Onto the bed she let herself sit, nervously rubbing her fingers together at her side. In tattered confidence she placed her hand on my chest and leaned passed my face to brush her lips against my forehead in what many call, simply, "a kiss". Still, I followed her with my eyes but my mask broke my vision before she reached my face, she was nowhere that I could see and so I waited to feel her mouth upon me. but, nothing. Nothing became my motif. Her lips pursed against rock. Even as her tears fell toward my body and searched for the weclome of warm skin they crashed upon my stone fence; they slid and followed the molded outline of where my cheek should have been and finally ended, defeated, dissolving forgettably into the sheets. For a dangerous handful of seconds I let myself smell her - I let myelf breathe fully of what she offered by her presence. I intoxicated myself on the individualtiy that permeated her hair and skin. She smelt of praries of tall, green grass, stretched to their own infinities in a night time of summer frgrance. All the inhales of freedom that accompany humid nights under her starry skies were draped around her neck. And then, my cowardice began to harden it. Falling finally to the robber, my nose smelt nothing more of the summer that danced in and around her clothes. Upon entering a room or quickly passing by, her scent would masquerade about desperate dreamers like myself, flirting with opportunity - the time when I should have inhaled deeply and tasted her details - but I said little more than what writers of acquaintance would have me say, and finally, a smooth, hard masonry competed itself above my mouth and between my eyes. My mask had been built and now I only look. For that's all I have left myself to do. Into the mind this viral stone submerges to end forever a desire to be kissed. It seeks a place for disastrous, numbing architecture but, of course, walls to enclose an imagination do not so easily stay intact. And so I spend my days seeing, in want, the world which I cannot have, and wishing for walls that would seclude the part of me that wants it.

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