Time’s Last Kiss

When I reached a river, it was too far below me, and my thirst was unabated.

—Harold Bloom

When one is young…

Time is like a distant cousin that one sees from time to time during some family reunion, a festival of the season like Christmas or Easter, her pretty face smirking and full of mischief she sits across the table known but unknown.

When one is old…

Time presses down on one like a Succubus extracting pleasure from your pain, her eyes glowing fiery with that dark intensity only those who know time is well past absolution would feign suffer. One should have seen coming that which cannot be lightly dismissed, but were too busy forgetting in the daily activities that have always allowed one to be mercifully distracted. Not now that comforting gaze of one’s cousin in her youthful merriment. No. Now is the time of demons and suffering, nights when sleep and death seem not like twins but old enemies who will never be reconciled by touch or care. Falling and failing are one’s lot now, each breath a momentary reprieve from the cold hearth that awaits one in that dank tomb. And, yet, as memory and desire waver over those moments in time, when life seemed so full of grace and vitality, one begins to understand that reconciliation and redemption have already come and gone like old lovers whose last kiss still lingers on the fragrant morning air that carries one forward and downward …

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