The Gift

by Katie Williams

Lived, loved, and left—indulging each whim,
each feeble and fleeting desire,
Heating blood as quickly as we cooled.
Extinguishing flames our happiness had overruled,
Spooled up and wound so tightly and 
Spinning in the pursuit of pleasure.
I slowed to a stop when I met you, watched you scale me all the way up
to my jagged ledge, wedging yourself into my cracks and rooting yourself to me, and I held fast to you, as

you did not like this sensation of dangling, a tenuous hold of vine to rock, of scraping to steady

yourself, limbs in open air. 

The wide eyes, though, the tremors
the honesty of experience--
the touch, the denial, the affirmation,
the embracing of this pain I inspired,
the reluctant abandon you must now
enact to secure me, the gaze and words
you beg of me while still inviting me to
dance away from you in a fit of fear--
was flint to strike to spark, what lit me up
in the dark for you to see, what breathed
life into those dreams I had long since put to sleep.

You set my abandoned city ablaze, 
a thousand stars screaming out of
a sea of dark, and apart from you
I run on generators you've fashioned with your forging hands,
That across my skin are enough to mold metal, and you do--
trace each freckle, settle down these roots and
allow me to bloom, a thorny vine 
with the most fragile of petals. 
Despite the rising and dying of 
my embers, you pedal my motors 
to life and continue to traverse my 
terrain, chipping away at the 
quartz and crystal below, what I 
do not want to show but will save 
for you, when we are alone and 
hidden from view. 

This is my gift to you, all my facets: 

My abiding diamond 

My quirky peridot 

My dreamy opal 

My burning ruby 

My most precious sapphire 

It is difficult to measure love, but perhaps we could try— by the height of this new fire,
the degree of heat needed in order to melt into you, by the length of this thread that we pull
and unravel, the rope tethering you to my peaks, or by the time it takes 

to polish these stones clear--
We can contend and postulate whatever
the stars may dictate and gauge the rate at which I can elate or sedate you,
discuss my timeline and define my journey up to you,
but until then 

twist your wires right around me 

so that I may press myself against your pulse
the pinch, the clasp, thread me through
and drape myself around you
and be with you always.

Katie Williams was born and raised in Palm Springs, California and has written recreationally for much of her life, as a means of questioning, emoting, and connecting. Her writing has been published in Honors publications such as the Nota Bene and she has performed her works to live audiences.  She now works in tech and lives in San Francisco with her partner and dog amongst the rolling fog.

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February 2019

© 2020 by The Esthetic Apostle