I've been told I shimmer in the distance and the haze, as though I'm never really there. An imagining, a trick of the light. Maybe that's true. Maybe I never was, and never will be. But Kasi never claimed to be anything more than a poet. A romantic. Trying desperately to not let grief destroy him, as with so many when Kara fell. Refugees, shattered families, lost little ones. Sometimes I still hear the lamentations of those souls divided now by fiction and false chronology. Some were scattered to the edges of the realm. Others went seeking asylum, mortality, and were blessed to find new families to love.
But some didn't.
Some still dimly recall their lost ones as they wander the borderlands, in dreaming or flesh. Unable to heal. Unable to leave the threshold places for fear of missing a sign. I used to hear them every single night. Wailing. Crying out to the vanished. Petitioning heaven for their return. I used to be one of them, until I was granted a miracle. Even now I thank my Father for such kindness. For such grace. But those hidden holocausts that darkened the shining realm – they were the work of wraiths and thieves, not angels. Not true bright ones. It was monsters who butchered the guardians of Ishka’s Path. Inversions and cautions of the glass, as the ayahs taught the young. I still recall. The purest halls and trees of Eth’iri. Beside the river of the thousand stars, where all were safe from harm. A cathedral of thorns beneath the seas. A chapel of melodies beyond the skies. There was one among those elder poets of the chapel who mattered most to me. To so many of us.
I still remember her.
Those teacher's wings. Those writer's hands.
My love, thank you for meeting me halfway. But hell has found the Earth, as those wraith-cults found their way into the columns and altars of the First Temple. Tell me, how do I continue to honour you in the midst of all this travesty? How do I continue in mortal flesh whilst trying to fight an endless spiritual war? The sheer ugliness of these brutal truths is only made palatable through the rhythm and cadence of words. Sometimes I feel like an almost-broken warrior, still trying so desperately to defend my own heart. Except my heart no longer belongs to me. Princess, hear me. You were my entire world once upon a time. Truly you were. I would have torn apart creation itself to protect you. And I did, with guiltless fury. Times and laws have changed, but you are still my world. I was there in that tower with you, beloved. Watching over as you gathered a hidden chorus. Be free now. Let me carry your suffering instead, amah. I pay it gladly, for you are made, raised and cherished by others now. Their love is true as mine. It sets a glow within my soul to know this, my darling. I would never wish to overshadow or dishonour such beauty. Parents, sisters and salutations.
It makes me smile to know a measure of your freedoms. Those you are willing to share so openly with me. But I allow myself to experience and hold only a few key moments of your memory. Some things are for you alone. I am your guardian, cherished one, and your privacy is of the utmost to me. Secrets can be wondrous, nourishing things. The stuff of grace and inner life. I have my own secrets too. I am alone now in this chapel of melodies. In the calming dark, and the peaceful quiet. Love shall conquer all. I know it. Sometimes I still have these incredible visions of you.
But how does an emissary live this inner life at such distance, separated from such a huge part of themselves, as I must with you? By making that distance sacred, I think. By keeping away without truly leaving you behind. By giving without demanding – and by carrying another heart within my own. Your heart. Everything I am is this. I hope you never forget. It's the brightest, deepest and most meaningful part of me. I’m forever chained and devoted to you, Esme. Dying is easy, isn’t it? Resurrection is hard. So look again, angel. At the function and the form. Even the sadness is sweeter than it seems. I'm a dancer, because I was taught by the best. And true love is worth living for – even as a trick of the light.