Phoenix

everyone always watches the old year give way into the new/ like a dying firework much less dazzling/ than the ones that herald this purportedly magical day/ holding the promise of change like a candle in the dark/ except sooner or later your arm gets tired and the flame clatters to the ground/ but it’s one of those cheap plastic bulbs made to look like fire/ so it just fractures and fizzles like your optimism and resolve/ staying alive just to remind you of how unanimously you’ve failed/ isn’t that how it always goes? I used to scrawl dates in a notebook/ with a well-worn spine from all the times I opened it/ each time promising myself that this time, I would change/ then one day an eight letter word dug in its heels determinedly/ and also dug its claws into my heart until it grew red at the ragged edges/ it still beat, like the candle that still flickers/ but it was breaking apart and shutting down like an abandoned factory/ that creaked and moaned as my fragile bones strained to hold even my birdlike weight/ how ironic, isn’t it? so palpable that I could almost taste it like the acrid sting of hopelessness/ just as a new year was beginning, I was dying in a hospital bed/ as HGTV whispered in the background to give some sense of time/ for all I knew was morning and night and three meals a day/ that I ate in a hallway full of mentally ill patients wandering by/ cursing the war and the terrorists and the phlebotomy staff/ but one day, as I lay there enjoying a rare moment free of my beeping heart monitor/ a thought occurred to to me, so alien it might as well have been three-eyed and green/ what if I could fix my candle, and so too my broken heart/ and my shattered hopes of a girl who conquered the world with her words/ what if I was really a phoenix meant to rise from the ashes/ and burn brightly in a blaze of glory that outshone infinite candle/ for I too was something infinite; something beautiful

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