Journey’s end

They walk in a line, never touching, never looking up. Each one of them carries the weight of their own hearts. Dragging the tails of the cotton robes draped around them in the muddy tracks behind them, they walk. Some carry baskets, some have cords of lumber tied across their shoulders, others have their hands clapped over their eyes as they struggle forward.

Each one of them arrives, sooner or later, at the precipice where they unload their burdens, pouring baskets of dust into the canyon below. The wind pulls, and swirls, but the load is released, memory set free, and all pain is vanquished in exchange for a series of razor sharp slices across the surface of their hearts.

The blood comes, like tears, at first as an unlikely welling of fluid on the dry surface of each of their pulsing organs. Soon the weight of the tear is too great, and it begins to run.

No wind, no breeze, and no further weight of life’s brutality could explain the emptiness which arrives like a virus, finally overwhelming its victim. As they fall to their knees, and hands raise toward the sky, shaking, no sound escapes dry lips. Sun burned limbs stretch out over the surface of the stone, until prostration is accomplished. No matter how long they have walked, or how difficult the journey, it is incomplete until they extend themselves in total submission before the sky.

The wind blows flecks of skin from their limbs and fingertips. Unseen pieces of flesh so small no eye could follow the dance as they climb into the sky, and swirl into the breeze. Until there is nothing left of them. Not one remains. There is only a soft, dusty rag stained by their struggle which remains as a reminder to all who continue to dream.

May the sun heat the rocks so that they might pierce the skin of your feet as you pass over them. May the wind burn your skin, and leave caustic boils all over your face. May anything which is required come swiftly and have no mercy. May your journey to the precipice be done in the blink of an eye. May you never again choose to wail at the walls which wink and whisper your name along the way.