I vowed I’d live to see them both in their graves, and I have.” He grimaced. “Yet the cold and the damp still make my joints ache, as when they were alive. So what does it serve?”
– George R.R. Martin, A Clash of Kings.
A dusty book rests behind closed doors
Of a castle adorned with crimson jewels,
Lit by a blackened flickering light,
And it stands infected.
I nibbled through its pages in the summoning glow
Of candles, as the wax dripped onto my hands,
It mustn’t hurt, I was told. And I believed,
For I was offered comfort and sleep.
And as I stay awake poisoned
By nightmarish versions of the truth,
I feel betrayed.
Where is the sleep I was promised?
“Nothing has changed,” he chanted.
Reassurance he so desperately needed,
For the marbled floor was a liar
And it pricked like ice under his feet.
The halls where he played warrior
Were dark, damp and lonesome.
Father looked at him with chilly eyes
And performed feigned courtesies
As though this weren’t home.
Tears began streaming down his eyes,
And he turned away, defeated,
“Everything has changed,” he said.
Frail with troubling eyes
That speak of lost sleep,
Of eons of skin turning into dust
And flying across the oceans,
Sparkling like feigned fires
While the wind crawls over
The maps marked on her flesh.
Throbbing like a new flower,
Glowing in the light of a nest,
That births not life, but death.