A year ago, I thought the world was ending. Anguish tainted every waking moment a bitingly toxic shade of green, as that of the sky when a tornado brews. It was inescapable; no matter any temporary joy, a hint of chartreuse always remained.
That's how heartbreak works, after all, infiltrating every last nook and cranny with a noxious smoke that slowly eats away at already chipped paint covering up everything you've avoided confronting. The varnish always cracks. The lies, the secrets, the insecurities, everything always seeps out like pus from a septic wound eventually.
A year ago, I thought my world was her, and so I believed my world was ending when we did. Most of my world, at least. Entire continents remained floating on two kelly green curtains that (in reality) served as doorways to new universes writ of script and song and soul.
Not all was forsaken; I still had my other galaxy in which to escape my yellowing, rotting mind on midsummer nights. Yet, all too quickly, silent, insubordinate tendrils of olive and lime overtook that land and pushed the sky apart, if not afar. I was so close, but my bridge across was irreparably cracked. I lost that home, too.
A year ago, I was still reeling from the ending of my sojourn in a sunburnt world. Maybe I didn't realise, exactly, that my heart ached for any scent of salt on the wind because the eucalyptus that sprouted among the aorta needed the sea to survive. After I had tasted gold, I was no longer satiated by pyrite and falsehoods.
Once I realized that heartbreak comes in many shades of green, everything began to fall into place. No wonder my lungs grew moldy around the edges—emerald is impossible to inhale, and without a purpose to fulfill, their only option left was to wither.
A year ago, I discovered that a person plants roots in multiple worlds when she's looking for a home. In doing so, I learned, there's all the more possibility of a bitter upheaval of dirt and memories and pollen and love and rock, endless rock, until all that is left is simply that: rock bottom.
If I could return to a year ago, I would. I would give anything to go back to the land of yellow and green. Even that world, forever painted in hues of disgust and regret and abandonment, would be better than today’s crashing tsunami of ichor and flame.
Today, I know the world must be ending. This time, scarlet wax coats everything in sight and beyond. Nothing remains untouched. It is inescapable; despite cries of normalcy, tones of vermillion remain.
Blood flows through streets, pooling through cobblestones in rivulets and gyres. It drips from forgotten rafters into gutters who are no longer hopeful enough to look for stars and then falls, falls, falls, until a shattering impact that paints the sky with the abandoned dreams of a generation blamed for their own demise.
Today, the world must be ending, as it is on fire and the burning does not cease for anything or anyone. Smoke betrays mirrors to obscure any hope of reflection, any chance of remembering a life before the sorrow born from the crimson haze. Only a crumbling clay semblance of a planet remains.
Grief is a fickle creature. No matter how hard you try, it refuses to fold up flat and fit neatly in ballot envelopes bound for relief. Really, it hardly folds at all: grief is viscous and acidic, a saccharine cough syrup laced with arsenic and deceit. It reveals its true manipulative tendencies, however, in numbers and ash and glass.
Today, I grieve because the world is ending. For a while, I refused to acknowledge the metallic tang of red-hot shrapnel from an age gone forever. Mourning tasted sour, raw, when everything around was bathed in gore I couldn't believe was real. I know now that it is. The red is all too real.
I hope the world is not ending. I fear it is.