Do you know that sound? The wail as the wind whips around the stone walls of the tower. In a minor key like a banshee’s cry. Creeping in through the decaying mortar, until the tapestries flutter and I feel the thrill of despair as the candles stutter in the faint wisps of the icy air that pushes into the room.

And in my despair, I sit. With but dim awareness I watch the flicker of the flames and taste the sorrow in her name. Melisande. 

Numberless days separate us, though the lying calendar remains unchanged. But the world itself changed on that day. The day where I pressed my lips against the icy cold of her cheek. The day we were separated.

I have seen no sun, nor moon, nor any light but the candles, cast like stars across the hall. Stars that do not guide, but turn me about and leave me bereft of sense. But I follow where they lead.

The others do not seem to notice that the world has died. They move past me like flickering shadows in the candlelight. Upright dead going through their ghostly motions imitating the living when all around them has passed beyond.

I taste the bitter almond in the dregs of my sorrow. The candles twinkle and seem to form  constellations as I close my eyes. For all that remains is waiting.

And I am not patient.

Mark A. Fisher is a writer, poet, and playwright living in Tehachapi, CA. His poem “there are fossils” (originally published in Silver Blade) came in second in the 2020 Dwarf Stars Speculative Poetry Competition.