These hands – look at them; coal fingers writing uneven lines, words fading black to grey, to a transparent ask for help.
Slow down; follow the parched lips as they spit ashes which hide diamonds. Feel the smoked skin radiate longing and fear the heat of it.
Stare into smoke-filled eyes, tempest clouds orbiting a depth that is frightening; they cry tears which vanish.
That raging, bright flame which curls the hair, touch it.
Perhaps that would make you a little like me, so you could understand ill fate told as sin, and see through your eyes a child of Man accused the monster in the corner of your life; maybe if you had held a hand you wouldn’t have to gasp and watch me burn, that red bottle of gasoline at my feet, the flames in my mouth; like a dragon breathing out all of me for you.
See, sense, inhale, savor. Witness me die.
‘Be witness to the Phoenix die and be reborn.’
I stare up at the man beholding me with his arms stretched to the people gathered to see me smolder. And I do so, sizzling and screaming as my heart melts in a raging fire, for them, for him, a passerby turned God, prophesying my secret for them to fear. They are blind and deaf. And He is in awe as I drop to my knees and cough out the last of my organs – I am nearly ash. My eyes cease to see the world, but I know it, and sense it and when they have stopped crying for my departure he has fallen silent. My remains, particles of my essence, my being is being picked up, brushed away into something. My anger towards the world is still strong and it inflames me faster and stronger than all the other times I have died and was returned to life anew. He talks to me of future and beauty and hushes away the urges to explode. He spills my ashes free and leaves me there in my own and the outside darkness. I wait the hour of rebirth with the remembrance of his words of life.
With the first colors of the dawn blending the night, bleaching it lighter I awake with my new life. My skin illuminates the room and I know he is watching from somewhere hidden, marvelling at his prize for saving the result of my sorrow and surrender.
I marvel too at myself, as I have each time. I stand naked in my new skin, different from the last time. Only my auburn color remains the same, the mark of my true self.
He enters the room carrying a mirror and gives it to me. I look and see a woman whose face lacks the burden of eons of torture and negligence except for her eyes, my eyes which fail to glimmer with want. They reflect the thousand lives I’ve lived uncared for and forgotten. My fragile nature urges tears to stream down my cheeks, burning.
‘You are a Phoenix. You should cherish life.’
‘If I can’t heal myself, how can I heal others? I cannot be what I am anymore. People are cruel,” I tell him. I want to cease, expire. I want to trade my skin for another.
‘You are a daughter of the Gods with the most precious gift of all – life. It burns inside you, but you call the fire out, because you are afraid to love. Look,’ he says and keeps my hand in his. ‘You are my child, my sister, my lover, my mother. You have given me life and forever. I will never let you burn your life away again, egoistically so, that others may not have it, and you would have to leave with the ugly memory of it.’
He shows me his heart and it shines, pure gold. It is my heart too, I know its beat. He is a God, he is the past. A past where I was love and life and spoken of.
We make love untill I cannot take more of his touch. It is divine and I feel impure for throwing away lightly my gift. He sleeps in my embrace, until I leave him just an outline of myself, a golden spiral protecting him and his love. I have given him life, my Helios, but he cannot give me mine back. My skin burns from within and each thing I touch becomes aflame. I don’t shiver in the cold morning and think of flying away, somewhere.
I leave when the sun is at its brightest. The streets are my wings and they take me further than any man has walked. Once again no one recognizes me. For a lifetime more I cease to exist. Until I am reborn again. Untill I find somewhere within me salvation or the will for permanent death.