The Lesson

I fell for someone once.

Hard, fast, tumbletumbletumble
Head over heels
The swoon you read about in books,
I fell for him.

He was a writer.
That was half of it right there.
I had read something he had written and was moved powerfully.

So I wrote him a small letter,
And he wrote back.
And I wrote back.
And it began.

His eyes – in nearly every photo –
Were full of mischief.
Impish things, holding the promise of
One. More. Prank.
You could see the child in the man,
And I could see the man who once was child.
And I fell for him
As he fell for me.

Phone calls, letters, conversations,
He was not as funny as he was intellectual,
And my appetite was never sated for his words, his writing, his take on things,
Life, politics, religion…
Even when I diagreed most vehemently,
His thoughts were fascinating.
Intriguing.

“More.
More, please.
No, don’t stop sharing,
More still…
I’m hungry for your thoughts.
You’re brilliant!”

That classic feeling of mutual understanding
Was there almost from the very beginning…

His words poured into me
Honey, lava, silk.
He said the things I’d always wanted to hear but never told anyone.

He was horrible and scary
in his understanding of me,
Yet wonderful and intoxicating
In his understanding of me.

And it was over as quickly as it had begun.

The most fantastic fireworks display I had ever seen.
One burst of light and color and I was captivated.
Another and another,
And my mouth dropped open.
“Can it get any better?”
Oh, yes. It can. Just wait…

Explosions of light,
Vibrant, hot, and sexy
Filled my darkened sky,
And it got brighter,
And Brighter,
And BRIGHTER…
Then darkness.

The finale.

It was the finale
And I didn’t realize,
So I wasn’t prepared
For goodbye.

We never spoke again.

The show was over
And all I had from the experience
Were ashes fluttering through the air,
Smoke
Lingering
In the sky,
Gray dust
At my feet.

I reached down into my soul,
Into the ashes lying there,
And found a tiny stone.

I named it.
“Lesson Learned”

The poets and the authors write about this thing.
This passion,
This blind blind love that does not think.

I never thought I’d experience the story,
But sometimes,
The ingredients are there,
And the pitfall presents itself.

You stumble in,
And you call it love,
But it isn’t love.

It’s something else.

I don’t know its name.

I hold the stone and I remember,
A man once found me as brilliant as I found him,
As captivating
As I found him,
Who couldn’t stay away,
And I couldn’t either,

Though we never even held each other’s hands,
Or kissed,
Or embraced.

But it was not the thing that life is made of,
It was the thing that was a tragedy before it had begun.

Mindless,
Thoughtless,
Intoxicating
Passion.

The stuff of Romeo and Juliet
Whose emotion paved the way to death.

Pyrotechnics.
Fireworks.
Bursts of light and color
As dangerous as they are spectacular.

That coat your soul in ash.
Your heart left cold.

Passion
Can never hold
The steering wheel.

I will keep the tiny stone
As a reminder.

When I am tempted to believe otherwise,
I will slip it into my mouth,
And roll it around on my tongue,
And savor the
Hard
Cold
Bitterness
Of memory.

It is better to tend to warm coals on the ground,
Than to reach for fireworks in the sky.

-leah ♡

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