"a Withering Palm"

by C. Ikpoh

A withering palm tells stories of involuntary solitude. There exists no sound but my own footsteps. Weary heart rhythms dominate my chest cavity. Where has life gone? Where has love retreated to? I am greeted by expectation and the self-preservation of others; simultaneously I am dismissed by their immediate triumphs. Back to the star bridge I return, strolling the universe with a lack of oxygen needed to sustain my breath. The experience is stifling. The stellar glass beneath the bridge mirrors the joy of the ungrateful. Their alignments are displayed before me, tempting my darker side to rearrange their fate. I resign to my crushing, enigmatic loneliness though, existing under the weight of confusion so great it shall produce diamond resilience. My greater empathetic sensibilities refuse to be vanquished. My yearning withstands circumstantial evolution. I will never escape this emotional prison. Forever will I be a slave to the familiar memory of times left by indelible fallacies, exposed to the elements of mankind's inherent selfishness.

Alas, my palm continues to wither. It has no remaining soul. It has been extracted each time I proactively clutched another's that cried while in need, fusing life and love into theirs. Where has life gone? Where has love retreated to? Only a weary heart's rhythm will ever know.