Insignificance-Elizabeth Horton-Newton


Elizabeth Horton-Newton


“The air was crisp

with the hint of autumn dancing at the edges of the night.

There was the promise of golden red leaves

and ripe apples on the breeze

that lifted his hair and blew it back from his forehead.

His hand grasped my elbow,

his voice a deep timber that flowed with the mood of the evening,

seductive and non-threatening.

But beneath the surface

was the whisper of something slightly dangerous,

like the slow ascent of a roller coaster before it reaches its zenith.

He captured that split second when you look down into the abyss

and your breath holds for a moment

before escaping in a long thrill filled scream.

Orgasmic and death like.

La petit morte the French call it.

I read that in a dreadful sixties romance novel

my mother kept hidden on a shelf in the closet.

I remember only snippets of our conversation,

scenes set in tableau

that seemed to hang forever in my memory

like old sepia-toned photographs in a yard sale photo album.

I was detached and involved simultaneously.

Drawn to the flame of his strangeness;

unfamiliar territory

I really did not want to investigate

but knew I must.

Like an explorer on a journey

to a land I both feared and was tempted by.

The evening dragged as it sped by.

I remember leaving the play early though I did not want to.

I remember the long walk I did not want to take.

I couldn’t refuse

although there was no pressure on his part

to follow down that yellow brick road.

And in the end

I suppose it was my own indifference that trapped me.

I had never chosen the road yet

I traveled it with an urgency that left me breathless.”

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