“That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, And with thee fade away into the forest dim”
– Keats (Ode To A Nightingale)
The forest clamoured with ghostly light, filtered through the broken boughs and slinking in the phantom fog, whereupon he supped the bittersweet taste of darkened memory. White flowers clustered close to his dream dazed head, poisoned stars in his forest bed.
Barefoot in mirthful mind she danced, a figment of his stupor advanced.
His name she whispered. Three painful words. Then gone was she, a phantom too faded for all to see. Saddened by the lost embrace, with a whiskey pill he did replace her haunting hands once clasped in his. Her laughter did but echo near, a solemn thing too far to hear.
He’d drank more ale and ailed more drink, the cutthroat numb for those who think. With weary lips, he’d kissed her corpse. With guilty sips, he’d sworn remorse. And now the sips had turned to draughts, a rippled mirror of times repasts.
Darkest night close rounded in, the constant keeper of those who sin. And sin… It whispered in his blood, an immortal gift that held no good. For those he loved had often passed, leaving the hated for always last.
Now he sank beneath hemlock lace that curled and feathered his haunted face.
He’d wished her dead but not like this, stolen from his parting kiss. Their hands had met from two as one; a lovers’ tryst, now broken, gone. He’d begged the graces to take him too, but knew that this they could not do. He’d made his choice, a selfish act, with a godless creed and their bloodlust pact.
So now he drank with hopeless hope; a mortal way for him to cope in losing her, his angel sweet, to his hunger that had him beat. A thousand years had passed since then, but with his drinking it felt less than ten. Each night he’d see her ghostly figure pirouette a silent trigger that stole his heart and made him weep a silent wish for her to keep.
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