I stared at the scene before in disbelief of what I saw. A small boy lay sleeping next to a pond whose surface was disturbed so infrequently by ripples of life it might well have been the surface of a mirror. Lifeless, he was, for he could be nothing else of this world but that which has played amidst the spirits of those beings whose glory lay captured as wonder behind the lashes of babes.
The surrounding area seemed no less surreal than the child’s serene gaze upon my reflection within the water. The vegetation gently curled and twisted one upon the other, playing coy with the sun in shades of deep greens, light blues and purples. Columns of amber and crimson rose from amidst the earth every few intervals, encircling the sanctum as if it were a place of holy intercession, supporting arches that both embraced that within and let flow life giving light from without. A place so far removed from the rush of traffic that bellowed into my ears night and day, the buzz of the radio and all other sorts of progressive static. It was almost silent but for the gentle movement of leaves amid the lazily dancing currents of sweet, spicy perfume. The child reached out to me and my heart flew to him as my body softly slipped to the mossy shore bereft of its source.
“You left me,” the child said in the soft, heart wrenching voice that embodies children’s inescapable mouths. And with that, the heart that still floated out toward him plunged into the pool, guilted heart blood leeched out into the pool corrupting it’s serenity, destroying the natural balance. Once peaceful waters shiver dark and polluted as the heart sinks into the deep, narrow recess within. The nameless child drops his hand into the pool and closes his eyes, tears beginning to roll down his soft, chubby, peach fuzzed face.
“I couldn’t tell you,” he begins again, but the water convulses with the beat of the heart, enlarged with sorrow, and the water, already rising, begins staining his out stretched fingers with death. The land begins to whither around us, the columns age centuries over the few icy hot, terror filled moments that begin rushing by.
He’s choking with every wave of grotesque filth the unattached yet still beating heart beats out. My gown is stained, we are both drowning in the sorrow, neither able to move to escape, for just as he is bound within so am I bound throughout. His eyes open and he gazes at me with those eyes so familiar to me. He pushes his arm up once more, bathed in writhing black clots of deepest secrets. “Mommy…” he gulps through the tide before he is overtaken under the unrelenting churn of what has become a sea.
Hiss loss shreds what will is left in my body to even hold itself where it sits amidst the waves as I scream close mouthed, open eyed amidst the ruins of what was once so beautiful. The turmoil erupts into a cyclone before, tugging me into its eye, my body doll like in its inability to move from the horror it has witnessed. Clotted ropes entangle me and burn me with their twisting binds, choke from my eyes the ability to see the light that still shines above me, filmed with hazy copper myst.
Suddenly, I am freed from the darkness that entrapped me within myself, falling into the empty depths back towards my heart as cool rain begins pouring down. The aches are soothed away, the abrasions upon my body cleaned, the infections calmed, as I fall closer and closer to that misguided, ceaselessly beating monstrosity beneath me. I fall upon it, unable to hit anything but the engorged mass it has become as the rain washes over it and I both.
Time is lost to me until consciousness finds me again. I still lay upon the beating heart, but as it beats, it sucks in just a little and then a little more of the rain that has begun gathering around it below the elevated shoreline into itself and out into me until my eyes overflow with the soft cleansing fluid. We begin to rise, it and I, for as it persists in its pumping, so is it cleansed by that which flows down from above, and as it cleanses me with it, we are both lightened. And so I exist until I lay afloat the pond and my heart beats itself painfully back into my chest.
The pond has rebuilt itself, shed that which had dirtied it and though scars of the storm remain new growth can be seen budding between the pillars reaching up into that ephemeral light. And I lay amidst the center of it all, my body stained and my heart returned to me though still slightly too large for me to restrain from showing when it beats stronger every rare moment or two.
I open my eyes while they yet overflow with that clarifying liquid that fell from beyond my fruitless grasping. I see formed above me, as if resting in a glorified reflection of the place I exist bound, the little boy upon his back on a pond so very similar to that which holds me. His golden green eyes hold such joy as they alight on my face.
“I couldn’t tell you before” he begins again in that delicate voice that holds such wisdom. His cheeks are flushed with life and giggles.
“I love you.”