Rope, Blind, Sword

by Marcus Jonathan Chapman

I step outside and look around at all the legs and torsos around me. I can’t see too far because of the fog around my head. Everything is monochrome, it’s always been monochrome but I have a feeling that I’m missing color. It’s a dull ache and I suspect that the heads of those around me, attached to the necks, torsos, and legs of those passing me in the fog, poke through the clouds above. Others breath fresh air, they see colors above the fog, they feel and express those feelings.

I stand on my toes and crane my neck, willing my head past the clouds to something else. I never seem to be able to reach it. I’ve stacked crates, books, climbed ladders, but I can never get high enough to see past the monochrome.

Sometimes, I’ll go to a bar and some old man will push a glass full of gold with bubbles in my direction. I drink it and I catch glimpses of brightness, take deep breaths and feel something in my chest, rattling at my rib cage. Some moments there’s a tiger biting at the bars and other moments there’s a mouse passing freely throughout the world of my body. The bubbles in my glass fizz and pop but my head is tilted toward the sky.

There must be a reason young men look up at the sky and shake their fists while old men stare at the ground and rub their tired hands. I was born to die but while I wait I wave my hand in a long, slow goodbye. My eyes see but I think I’m blind. Ropes are for tying down and swords are for cutting but love is for those still waving goodbye.

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