The Color of Hope
“Nevermore, daughter. Nevermore. He is nameless here forevermore.”
And with that the closing of my chamber door, a dull thud followed by the clanking of familiar keys.
One, a dagger, pierced the hole and twisted. Snap. Like a horned beetle flickering its wings and lurching into mechanical flight.
Then darkness, nothing more.
And in the silence, in defiance, the forbidden utterance spoken as my parched lips trembled out the trochee. “Eddie.”
Was chance or circumstance cause for his entry into my chalky world, a brand that splashed everything into a blaze of orange and red?
I never knew. How many events slipped into place, like the pieces of a dissected puzzle that a child plays with, to guide him into my delirious embrace? What strange continents slid and rumbled over what painted Ocean to unite us two in Charleston above the graves of the city's founders?
He told me once during one of our clandestine meetings in the churchyard, amongst the ivy-tangled tombs, about his parent’s death and the difficulties he had with his foster father. Was he seeking love, a hummingbird pursuing nectar, as he dwelt alone in a realm of pastels, haunted by misfortune and poverty, gambling and drink?
Did the inauspicious beginnings of his writing career – overlooked lines of an uncut stone - propel him to me by way of the Artillery? O, the love of beauty and terror of its loss. Who were the lost flowers and what were the sunshine hours that vanished before me?
Or was it the simple allure of seashells, discovered during his year of service on Sullivan's Island, beyond the Charleston barrier? Salty hours rapt in Atlantic echoes that murmur on in chambers of mother-of-pearl. This, perchance, steered him to my father. The old man a conchologist, the soldier a seeker on the shore.
They came closed, expectant with colorful promise
Twelve apologies, fresh and fragrant on a spring morning
They open slowly, thirsty for the sun's attentive rays
Twelve wishes, delicate and hopeful on a new day
They begin to wither, starved of nutrients and faithful care
Twelve warnings, wrinkled and faded beneath a graying sky
They fall apart, stained with blackened stains and foul splotches
Twelve reminders, bitter and broken splayed on the floor