dust to deficit

I knew this would be my role, the one who keeps trying when all the others have given up, the one still investing more when the others are “emotionally bankrupt” – to steal from Fitzgerald, who knew very much about not being good enough. I am the one who stands last at the bonfire, completely enjoying every aspect of the heat and just as unprepared to leave it behind. So I am the one watching the embers that glow like little fairy towns, I am the one gently adjusting the branches, and I am the one with the light rash spreading on my thighs from being so intimate with the flames. The saddest part is not the discrepancy between the warmth and light and the chill and darkness. It is not even walking back to the cabin, wondering why we cannot burn memories like we burn photographs and trinkets. It is that moment when you see the last of the smoke rising from the ashes, and you clasp your fingers around it and feel and smell and know it burns but realize you are incapable of containing it, preserving it, making it stay. Because you can start a fire with ashes, there is something phoenix-like about passionate love, but there is nothing you can do with smoke but watch it disappear.

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