"What's the world for you if you can't make it up the way you want."

-Jazz, Toni Morrison


Mirrored Mind

Mirrored Mind

'Twas real.

Nay, 'twas but a dream.

I tell you it was real and for all the world to see.  No dream, no fantasy but truly what it feels. 

What folly to speak it, to think it true.  You are but stone.  Impervious to the tender brush of a spring-soaked breeze, the teary-eyed morning's dew, the swell of heat from a blazing August afternoon.

'Tis not folly.  'Tis right and true.

    You are beguiled.

Then I am beguiled.

You are a fool.

Then I am a fool, though not fortune's fool.  Did you not see how ardently she gazed upon my face?  Did you not hear her nightingale's song?  "Beautiful" she sang to me. To me!

You are an odious creature.  Come, come stand before this reflecting glass and tell me what there is to see.

Why, oh why, do you do this ... plague me so?

Why do you not do as I ask?  You are afeared are you not to look upon your hideous self?  

As you please, but 'tis not my eyes I will cast upon that glass, 'tis my heart.

That bleeding black heart?

'Tis not despoiled.

Such lies!  Have not I heard you wail after all your piteous sorrows 'tis blacker than the foulest night; 'twas cut so cruelly it bled black? 

It bleeds no more.  And shines red as summer's sun aglow, overflowing with wondrous warmth.

Illusion or worse ... delusion!

'Tis but the truth.

The truth you say.  Pray what truth can a stone know?

This I know and believe it so.  I love her as she loves me.

Then you are bewitched by a phantom of your mind's machinations.

Always it has been so, but is no more.  She is no phantom but an angel of perfection, with silver wings, and pink-white flesh, with aching breasts, and silken lips.  A tongue that quivers and has two hearts.

Two?  You are indeed mistook.

Nay, I am not.  One that beats fiercely in her bosom and the other a luscious lake, boundless, steaming.  Last night I swam deep down in those waters and drank from them.

Surely you are mad.

If that be so then I am truly mad.  Madly do I love her.  Madly do I need her.  Madly do I miss her fingers gliding 'round my yearning mouth, her kisses strewn like flower petals falling soft upon my humble frame.  Yes, I am mad.

And that dagger that hovers inches from your heart, your companion lo these many years?

She has sheathed it and no more will I suffer from its thrusts.

Beware...what has been sheathed can be unsheathed.

Never!

Only those who hope eternal believe in never.

I believe in her.

Heed me, friend. One day while you lie beside her she will pierce you with that dagger. And from that wound you shall not recover for 'tis certain you will die. 

Friend? Who are you to call me friend? Your words are poison.

Say not I did not warn you. She will spurn you with that blade. Just as all the others. You know of what I speak.

She will never, as I will never. We are bound one to the other. One soul, one skin forever.

No mortal from this world can have everlasting faith in such things.

You claim you know me, yet you know nothing, friend.  I come from a place you have never seen.  I am the last of my kind.  Bequeathed by my vanished race with powers you cannot foresee, less imagine.  Crawl back into that abyss from which you were spawned.  You have no sway over me.

We shall see.

No more shall you see of her or me.  For we will live and love together in our kingdom by the sea.

I say again my besotted friend ... so shall we see.


Mark Havlik's work has appeared in Trajectory, The Hungry Chimera, Anomaly (FKA Drunken Boat), the anthology Flying South, Kaleidoscope, Passing Through, South Florida Arts Journal, Santa Fe Writers Project Literary Journal, and Washington The Magazine. He won the Pamlico Literary Contest 1st Place Prose Fiction Award and his creative nonfiction piece placed first in the Winston-Salem Writers Competition.

Photo by Dhruv Deshmukh on Unsplash

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