Starlight Satiation

You satiate me.

You are the heavens in these skeletal arms, you are the cosmos in these shaking hands. You are saccharine starlight, so sweet, so divine, so good. I could pull the true skies apart – leave you unscathed and instead reach my talons upwards, tear open those celestial bodies and make the heavens themselves weep… but those crystalline tears would be flavorless compared to you: mere water to your liquid gold.

Everything you are consumes me… and it seems only fitting as I consume you, too.

When you’re here.

When you’re not.

Your radiant luster clings to my palms long after you’ve gone, your seductive sheen gets stuck under my nails – evidence that I’ve clawed just a bit too deeply, that I’ve taken just a bit too much.

It’s never too much.

I dip my own fingers in my mouth and taste the lingering notes of rapture.

I lick my palms clean and drink every remaining morsel of paradise.

Soon, too soon, achingly soon… my palette is cleansed, my tongue, dry.

I’m left thirsty again.

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Only Power, Chapter 7: The Games

The games were sure to be extraordinary.

Even Hadrian could attest to this—determined as he was to think otherwise. He had never attended the games and had never wanted to, but now that he had arrived in the arena, making his way to the Emperor’s box with a guard at his side, he quickly found himself getting caught up in the drama of it all. The tangible excitement, the bristling energy of the crowd, the imminent violence…

And Hadrian had a front row seat.


Full chapter here

 

Conversations: II

“I have a theory – ”

“Here we go.”

She smiled. He glared.

She could tell exactly what was going through his mind. An internal battle about what was more important: yelling at her, or making his point.

The latter usually won out. “I have a theory,” he went on, speaking as though he had not been so rudely interrupted, “that when we die, our… soul, for lack of a better word, disperses into an infinite number of particles. Energy that bursts apart, each tiny fragment then somehow reconnecting with something else.”

“Like reincarnation?”

“No, no, no.” He shook his head, looking exasperated already. “That would mean your soul stayed intact, and just woke up again as something else. What I think happens is that when we die, our souls essentially explode, that we are all our own ‘big bang’. That when I die, maybe some part of me will find its way into another human, but maybe some of me will end up in a cat, or a frog, or a dandelion.”

“So… do you believe that is the case now, then?” she asked. “That right now, at this very moment, we’re all just… pieces of recycled souls, basically?”

“I do.”

She hummed thoughtfully, imagining human souls as patchwork quilts.  “Maybe some part of me will end up in a spider, next time around. I’ve always thought I would make a nice spider.”

“But not all of you would,” he instantly pointed out, like his bizarre theory was already proven true. “Some of you might be an arachnid, but maybe some of you could also end up as the fly.”

“You think it possible to be the predator and the prey, you mean?”

“Yes, exactly.” He nodded fervently. He always got so excited about his abstract ideas, it was almost easy to start believing them herself. “We are all things. The beauties and the beasts, the villains and the heroes… the weavers of the webs, and the very fools who get caught in them.”

Conversations: I

“What’s worse,” he began, “to regret, or to carry on unknowingly?”

She thought about that for a time. “…Are those my only options?” she countered. “Failure or ignorance?”

“Yes.”

A pregnant pause.

“Regret,” she eventually answered. “Regret is far worse.”

“And what makes you say that?”

His tone was light, mildly interested. She shrugged. “Well, I’ve felt regret, and it feels something terrible,” she said. “But ignorance? I’ve never felt that. Ignorance doesn’t have a feeling. And I’d rather be numb than miserable.”

Linger

Full-bodied,
Rich,
You’re an oak-aged, liquid velvet.
So robust, aromatic,
Très charmant.

You’re made to sip,
Slowly.

You linger on the tongue,
Supple, smoky, slightly sweet.
Your after-taste says:

Wait.
Notice.
Feel.
Appreciate me for the masterpiece that I am.

Then, in the space between an exhale a lifetime –

Drink from me again.

You linger on the tongue…