I dreamt into the places where darkness lingered,

Cold shadowing places from memory,

Asking why as I took each step into the depths

And was not surprised to hear the voice reply

That even here could be found a piece of I.

I held the vase in my hands

Never knowing what it was that she saw in it,

a dark bulky forbidding hint it was,

a heavy speckled ornament on a Japanese table,

Filled with silken flowers

Dusted weekly just in case.

It was hers,

a prized possession,

always shown off to the stoppers-by.

Friends and neighbors with their airs

at the parties where we lingered on the edges till summoned,

The belle of the ball showing off the complacent children

As we paraded for the guests,

they stood laughing,

Smiling with their garish red painted lips and dripping fake jewels,

Five o’clock shadows and ties askew that no longer hid

the hairs that peered through the buttons

exposing the weak from the business formal strong,

cigarettes and drink in hand,

eyes that watched a little too long

And wavered between face and private places.

Look at this vase she exclaimed

Petting it like a beloved pet,

Cost a pretty penny I must add, she said.

Had to live the image

Of perfect faced children and things,

Keeping up with the Joneses,

Just never let them see what lay behind the moving curtain,

In the darkness back there beyond the shine,

Away now and be quiet she waved her hand

As dismissal drew near,

We slipped away where our company was not needed,

Laying our heads down to pray and perhaps dream,

Feeling the sense of a reveler lost from the party

the smell of Vodka or perhaps whiskey on the air,

Reaching in to touch the not so precious toy

yet finding the skin as smooth and beautiful as the vase,

eyes closed against the King that stood before

The throne now sullen and dirtied,

She lay weeping for a new ruler,

And the vase in her mind where she saw the ugliness

In later years she examined what lay below the sheen

And found the universe had always been there,

Waiting for the true beauty to be seen.

Beneath the darkness another world found,

as kingdoms moved from place to place

light and carrying nothing to impede

Only now wondering what happened to the vase,

the item so heralded,

was it left behind for lack of being new and shining?

For exposing the value

of a prize taken,

broken?

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