March 3, 2014 § 1 Comment
We danced around you. Maybe that was wrong, but we danced anyway because the stars were out. And though we’d walked beneath those stars hundreds of times before, we were in their presence for the first. That was your doing.
Did you ever look up to those celestial pinpricks and think: “How have I never noticed how small I am?”
It happened to the rest of us, I know that much. We threw our heads back, forcing our necks into straining so that we could take in the fear that emanated from above.
It was something magnetic.
God. Or an unraveling of gravity. A pull of the heavens — frustrated that we tiny beings were growing too large in our own heads.
In looking up, we found that we had shrunk ourselves down. And out came the new cognition, coaxed from the murky subtexts of our unthinking minds. It came bleeding out of our souls — or whatever it is that makes us human — until we understood.
And you looked too. You looked, and the stars shimmered in your eyes, forever finding their home there as your stiff eyelids went unblinking, unwilling to wipe the light from your irises. You looked and we began to celebrate our miniscule existence and — more importantly — this evidence of your mortality.
There are no explanations for how it happened. Any of it. No logic for us. No comprehension of what caused you to give over to the end. But if the stars meant to teach us anything, it was to rejoice instead of mourn.
That is why we spread you out under the night sky and danced. We danced the last pieces of you into our memories and then we danced you out of this place.
It is day now and the crows have come, the buzzards and the scavengers, all to force your dues from whatever it is of you that remains. And by now, they’ve taken the stars from your pupils, pecked the eternal light from your body.
But I will not remember you that way. You will forever, in my mind, be present beneath the darkened dome of night, white fire lighting up your gaze. Always peering, with mute satisfaction, at the canopy of ancient light above.
So please believe me when I say that you have never looked more beautiful.
© 2013 Taylor Eaton
Taylor Eaton is a writer and linguist who is constantly fascinated by language. Playing with words and syntax makes her far happier than it should. Her flash fiction can be found on her site at http://www.littlewritelies.com and in the forthcoming issue of Em Dash Literary Magazine. When she should be working, Taylor can instead be found tweeting about writing, wine and Southern California at http://twitter.com/tayloreaton