I run into shades of her in sidewalk cracks
In the lights of early mornings
The flickering neons of half past up-too-late
For these are the lights under which I remember her
Not the shadow who haunted my tainted halls
But the woman who sipped scotch with eyes
The color of snakes coiled amid shadows

To this day I don't recall her name
But I remember her eyes
And the way the tongues lashed against me
When I tried to deny their prey

Even on the darkest nights
I cannot lose the light of her passions
I cannot forget, how I try to forget
The snakes she spurred
Under insomniac flowers she tended
And how at the end
She recoiled from my fingers on her shoulder blade
And how cold it felt already

I knew she was dangerous by the way her fingers trembled
And by the way she never took deep breaths
But she held my heart firm
As though letting go would set something off
Enough to uproot forests and slay the immortal

She is the reason I no longer connect
To these salted sidewalks or the feet that scar them
The haunts of my mind, the shadows
Cast in fluorescent street lamps
Sword-beams of light illuminate the steps I've taken
Postcard perfect memories of my mistakes
Scraps of my heart making its way back to her
She owned them from the first breath

Traffic lights stand, memorials to the days I lost
To her and her schemes and her lies
And her cries for help
That I couldn't hear amidst bloodstained whispers
Telling me of kings
And the fires that keep the stars burning