Alchemy for Ephemeral Enchantment

my greatest fear is that my magic is fleeting


some people fear they have no magic at all

others fear that no one will ever notice theirs

perhaps there are even some who do not have such fears

but me

I know my magic is strong

I have watched the dreamy eyes of boys peer curiously at me through my feigned ignorance

in those elongated pauses that staccato new friendships

and I have known that they are wondering

if minute by minute

they are falling madly in love with me

and I have watched something suspicious and hopeful

ignite in the eyes of fellow sisters

who thought they felt the tug of something real

and I have felt it too

the meeting of two kindred souls


I am afraid it will blur into the horizon


like the last light of day fading into an eternal night

that one day

and one by one

those I love

will wake up

and miss the stardust that used to sprinkle my footsteps as I danced

and miss the irresistible, invigorating wind that blew through their hair when I laughed

(like that which churns the ailing yellow sky before a tornado)

and miss that hysteric pressure which bubbles both strangely and wonderfully

between the lungs

above the heart

below the throat


they will wake up

(they always do)

and when they wake up

perhaps they will wonder at how real it all seemed

perhaps they will even mutter, “What a dream!”

and then with a sigh, “What a shame…”

while I beat my fists hopelessly against the shimmering veil

the one that separates the light of the full moon sparkling on snow

from the light of mid-day burning the dried brush of the desert

I am begging them to give me a chance

if only they would take the time to know me, I implore

without truly believing a single word

but my cries will not pierce the glimmering shroud

paper-thin though it is

and I will regret, ironically, sharing too much too soon



they will shake the sleep from their eyes

and thoughts of work and life will fill their heads once more

by nightfall they will hardly remember the initial rush of magic that captivated them

and that will be it

and that will be all

and I will be just another girl

another friend

another lover

another someone

(another no one for nobody)

whom they knew on their quest for the real thing

for one of those rare individuals whose magic is infinite and obvious

or one whose magic is hardly perceptible at first

but grows stronger and stronger

year by year

like a well-camouflaged spider slowly weaving its prey into an inescapable cocoon

that is not me

is it wrong that I wish it was?


or even worse

suppose they stay for a while

until we lie in bed at night

uncomfortably silent

with strained thoughts

and planned words

and me

a makeshift sandman

will stand over us

these strangers

trying desperately to induce that same mystic slumber

and of course I will fail

because sandmen are born

not made

such things cannot be taught or learned

(though perhaps they can be grown)


in any event

each morning they will awake



and when I tickle their toes

they might smile

or even laugh

but in the end

we will both still be able to breath

and our eyes will be dry

and no one will have snorted unattractively

or choked ridiculously on their own saliva

and really…

what is a laugh without such things?


I do not know if it would be worse that they remember and stay

or that they remember and leave

or perhaps that

in the same way one does not notice age creeping into the lines of the face

they should forget


perhaps I would try to remind them

“remember…” I might say

but with no sadness in their eyes

lamenting that which is lost

and no joy either

remembering that which was once found

I will know that they don’t truly remember

not without a picture to remind them

and I have never been much for capturing moments instead of living them

or at least

I have never known how


and so


I will comfort myself with a resolve to be like the flowers of a high mountain meadow

their magic…

it fades too

but there will always be another spring

and another summer

and another wayward wanderer who will stop

breathless and entranced

and he will think he could live here always

“what a life!” he’ll sigh dreamily

but of course his eyes would grow numb to the beauty

foolish humans

everyone knows it

but most insist

on acting as if it isn’t true anyhow



it will be my secret

and when he resolves to come back tomorrow

to build his house

I will slide quickly back into the cool earth

seeking other mountain meadows

or a grassy knoll overlooking the breezy blue cliffs of the sea

or perhaps the window box of an old woman in the city

and he may even shed a bitter tear when he returns to find he’s lost me

but I will smile

because I know:

we will both be the better for it


he for having had his dream unsullied

and me

for having been able, finally, to give it

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