Look up to my eyes.
The little boats that line the river
Cannot distract your gaze,
When my golden gravity evades you again.
“Fall, fall to me,” you cry,
But my laughter drowns out your plea.

The cold darkness washes over my skin.
In the water there is no heaven,
I can drown in the sky.
With your wrists over mine I am human.
When I fall in with you the world weighs on my back,
But I know that you have fallen too.

We can only swim under the stars for so long,
They call my name and I am lost from your arms.
“Tomorrow,” you call,
I can’t make any promises though.
My feet have left the ground already and my limbs are light again.
Tomorrow is a million miles away and I don’t know who I’ll be when I arrive.

Night after night we return to the water,
Watching as light and dark blur into unending horizons.
I fall a little farther with each pale sunset.
Knowing that I’ll lose my gravity when I come up from the water,
I hold myself under a little longer each time,
But my breath is thin and I gasp for air.

In the summer, the water drains from our sanctuary.
It burns away through the earth,
Demanding a sacrifice, it calls for flesh and blood.
You say you’ll save it all for me,
When you’re gone I’ll swim alone but at least I’ll have my gravity.

In the empty lakebed,
Skeleton rowboats line the edges
And you stand in the muddy dust.
“Goodbye,” you whisper and I return a silent smile.
Water tumbles up from the dark earth,
It washes across your ankles and slowly rises along the deserted banks.

You shiver as the cold water traces up your spine and climbs to your chin.
It fills your mouth, your nose, your lungs.
Your silver eyes are wide,
Fighting to trace the memory of my delicate flesh.

Look up to my eyes.
I am marble in the air,
Silent as stone.
The weight of your sacrifice overcomes me.
I fall for you.

The shell of your skin sinks beneath the waves.
My fingers tear through the murk
Searching for the solid sides of your body,
Dragging you back into the light of our soft soil.

When I cry for you,
They are my first tears.
My eyes are stained red and my skin is coated in salt and sand,
I lie beside you until tears fill my lungs as well as your own.

With my golden hair across your chest,
I hear the rhythms of your body begin to hum again.
Gentle heat flows from me to you and thaws your icy limbs.
Your lungs choke and sputter, sucking for more air than you can breathe.
I hold you,
Until your eyes open wide and your fingers bend toward mine.

Under the hazy glow of a million miles of starlight,
You smile,
“Fall, fall to me,”
But I already have.


This poem is based on my favorite fairy tale, “The Light Princess” by George MacDonald.


7 thoughts on “Light

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