By Kyle Legrone

           Looking back on those romantic days feels me with such wonder. It was there, high upon those ivory cliffs overlooking the crystal blue seas, whose waves did crash to and fro, that we built the foundation of our love. The ground was course and loose, but we didn’t care. That castle of sand was ours and ours alone, and no matter what repairs may one day be needed, we were confident we could make them. The angels above went sneering at the sight of our clasped hands held so close together. The demons below, perhaps half-wiser than those above, chuckled heartedly for what was to come. And though we could hear the laughs and see the sneers, we bade them equally no consideration and offered them no ill will. We were in love and how could one not be overjoyed by everything under the sun when tamed by Cupid. Our happiness was the glaring sun enveloping our faces, the luminous moon revolving in the night sky. Sitting there around the intense flames of the campfire we built ourselves, fed with logs we provided of equal measure to keep it going. The billowing smoke rose to overtake us, and I could smell both the hickory and pine, separate, become coalesced into this one soft singular scent. It is not now as it once was.

           I remember the early days of spring when the life of the soil was made anew. Its hardened shell first creased in the sunlight to give way to the roses. She was animated and vibrant, and her cheeks were just as red, but the buds were so tightly bound. I rained down my charms as best I could and each day the rose unfurled a bit more towards the sky. Pink and white carnations rounded the roses and the rain trickled away. I was the sun that arrived to claim the bitter throne and cast away the sorrows of those before. It was in that spring that the sun dispelled the darkness of the winter nights and the rose bloomed to greet me.

           Summer came gently strum like the lyrics of Apollo as he raced across the sky. On sultry days like those, golden and perfuse were the words I gave her. Every look she returned to me ignited within a flame I could hardly contain. Not for lack of want, but in need of care she tended this flame until the heat was too much to bear. How tempting were the vines as they climbed around, and certainly the thorns stung of bit. But one’s pain was the other’s pleasure, and I carefully plucked the petals one-by-one.

           The seas began to rise against of us, though, and each night I could hear the crashing waves grow stronger. What was first two or three became twenty or more birds which flew overhead across the sea. The crystal clear ocean which once glittered in the sun was becoming dull and gray. It was the fall of what had been ours for what had seemed to be an eternity. The cool breezes battered fiercely against the campfire. More often we found ourselves spending time cutting down the trees and uprooting the gardens only to supply the flames. Soon those shiny drops of dew turned to snow and neither of us found the will to speak of the winter that had come. As I walked the forested garden alone searching for the flower that had been mine, I found nothing worth keeping.

           We of that time are no longer the same. I don’t have the words to express it, and I’m not sure I could find them well enough to paint the picture. The vast darkness of the night feels more immense without her. The night sky is alone, the moon is shattered into the sea and the stars from me, flee. The roses are gone, and the carnations bleed with a ruddy, metallic stain. What difference does it make that I could not keep her? What good is a memory lost? To know that I have lost her, to feel the bitter ash of an extinguished flame. The sun has grown cold and our castle is eroded by the waves. My heart is not satisfied that the summer months have ended. And though this be perhaps the last pain she makes me suffer, I am content. Contented that the spring will return and that this pen will soon write verses as lovely for another – once more!