Salt

Short prose poem about dreams and death.

“The Persistence of Memory” by Salvador Dali (1931)

There is something about the pain of longing which you can’t spell out. Like the times when your mouth tastes of salt and you can’t tell why. You will ask yourself a question…no, many questions. The bells will continue to toll as the birds shit on you. Why is this pain here? Your lips are dry from praying for water. The eyes, and the clouds, they refuse to comply. There is nothing here but dust and dusk. The withered heart and the dry plants. You open your eyes, and suddenly, the birds are no longer there. You realise that they are long gone. There were only ever the bells, ringing in your ears like a sonorous elegy. You can press the flesh over your chest and hear the thud-thud-thud of your heart, tired of…dreams…lethargic of…desire. This is the moment you start becoming less scared of death. When you start looking at the soil and wondering how your organs would look six feet beneath it. The countryside of sorrow is where you’ve lived — your entire life, inscribed in verses of lamentation. There is nothing here but lonely huts scattered amongst fields of blue flowers. Your knees are weak from the burden of hope. Your fingers are shaking from the touch of a ghost you can no longer utter the name of. You hold a candle in front of your eyes like it will save you. The river is wide but your dreams are wider; one day you’ll sink and your lungs will feel the nostalgia of a lifetime. A lifetime filled only with plain regret. The birds might return, they might not:

But the bells will continue to toll.

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