A Leaking Candle

tumblr_inline_mjqxx641fj1qz4rgpWhen I still could, I had a teacher,

He was a little dark and interesting,

Like a total solar eclipse in the middle of December,

He walked with the swift strides of a ghost,

And spoke in earnest, almost violent whispers.

His eyes were always hidden behind a curtain of glass,

But when he looked at you,

You could feel the grey pools suck away at your secrets.

He taught us of abstract things,

Things our little minds of twelve-thirteen couldn’t fathom.

Still, he preached the perennial grass that is love,

The futility of faith,

And the hope that hope holds

The conviction that floated in the depths of this whispers,

Left little to fantasy about where his heart was.

He was also a storyteller, the teacher

And the tales of his youth made spectacular listeners out of us.

We hanged onto each word he spoke like trapped flies to a web

Feeding from the fires that excitement lit in us.

He told us of legends and myths,

Often treading carelessly on that thin boundary that divided them

His grey orbs swirled with enlightenment,

Each time he spoke of alternate realms

And the magic that connected all life

Even for a heart as young as mine,

I knew passion from the taste of another’s tongue.

Often, however, as most remarkable people sign out,

Our teacher left his signature in the middle of the page.

When one chilly morning as the whole world slept,

Death awoke and into his heart it crept.

I found him not with any note by his bedside,

But with a finger still on the trigger,

And the walls of his study a canvas,

His blood and brains, the paint.


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