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Cliff Top

February 3, 2022

By Al Zapor

 

I never meant to bring you along to this cliff,

But still, here we sit, watching the tide roll in.

The sun sets in the vast emptiness, and I wonder if

You know this isn’t a detour, rather, the journey.

 

I fretted over this future a while ago;

I almost didn’t accept in hopes you wouldn’t know

That this is the place it was all going to lead up to.

I hope that someday when you look back on it all,

You don’t convince yourself I misled you

All the way here.

 

At least you seem to enjoy the sunset

As if we’ve gone on some picnic we’ll never forget.

Forget. Forget. Please don’t forget this, I dare

You to not. I’ve always known that when you’re

Old and gray, I won’t be there.

But I can only hope that my memory will.

 

I can’t help but ask if you know where we are going,

How I’ll have to throw myself off and ride the ferry cross the sea.

I swear I wouldn’t have made the same choices knowing

I’d have a friend by my side. Still, I wish you could see

That this is my fate, my destiny,

That this is the way the stars aligned for me,

That no matter how hard you might’ve tried,

You can’t change the course I’ve been supplied.

 

We watch the birds fish for a while,

The boats skim and float over the blue.

They really help me realize how high a mile

Is. The evening star appears in our view,

And I realize how late it is getting,

That I’m behind schedule. I should have left hours ago,

But time never stands still for me.

 

I try to hold your hand for a moment,

Try to remember your face one last time.

You push it away; I made it awkward,

I ruined the seconds before I needed to climb

Down. I’m best at scaring those I adore.

I just want to make this moment sweet—

I don’t mean any harm.

I just want to make this goodbye harder,

Because, in a cynical way, it would

Make this immediate future so much happier.

 

I kick myself. I regret this all so much.

Why couldn’t I take other people into consideration for once?

I am an impulsive idiot; I’ve always known I’m a dunce.

I wish I could realize that I’m not the only one

Who’s ever affected by my schemes and dreams—

A battle I’ve fought so many times and never won.

I swore to never be like those who pull the strings

Of those around them. But I guess that now rings

True for me.

“You either die a hero or live long enough

To see yourself become the villain.”

 

I swear I don’t mean that in an egoistic way,

I swear I don’t view myself as someone who saves the day

At the end. A martyr willing to die for his cause.

I just hate those around me who did that,

And look where I am now.

 

But here, the time comes. My ship will depart

In a few minutes or so. The journey was a good one,

And I’m happy you were by my side. My heart

Is forever grateful for the many times you cared

To ask me if it was taking a toll. We shared

Many laughs, cries, and everything in between.

And now? We embrace. Your face the last thing

I can make out before my eyes go blurry.

 

These days were golden, but the sun is now set.

We walked on dry, flat land, but now a sea lies before me.

The waves will rock the ferry, and night will encompass.

 

Don’t forget this. Don’t forget me.

Maybe a thousand years from now I’ll see your face.

Your memory will be enough to help me in this trip.

Please don’t forget what we used to be;

Maybe that way we can still find some happiness in this sea of sadness.

 

I only bought single fare,

But if you care,

They’re still selling tickets.

1 Comment

  1. Emily Waldorf

    This is a beautiful picture, Al! Thank you for writing it. It leaves me asking so many questions, prodding my imagination into action.

    Reply

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