Play not in the forest of beasts and winged creatures.
Live not on the crust of the earth seeking dewdrops to drown her, paused briefly under a sky of longing.
Silly nymph! Hearts and minds can not romp across the prairie and enter the wood together, for nature’s way has not been carved in that overgrown path we traverse while trapped and tangled and maimed in the quest for mere connection.
The tendrils of the vine play through her hair. His hands dig into the mud to shape and form his shrine. He wishes to worship, has practiced his prayers, puts every accolade she ever uttered into this rendering, his gift.
She is muse, yes. She inspires his brush and chisel when the sunshine breaks through the bones of her ribcage and reaches out to trace the line of his jaw. He feels her touch, she is waves and salt, her mind crashing against the silt covering the shore, unable to anchor. Head swimming, yet still firm in her navigation, she leads him along a learned path where she believes no map exists, knowing she is fully capable of travel without him.
He is wise but wandering- adeptly steers an unwieldy ship until his hands rest, mouth agape, gripping and white-knuckled on the wheel. His gaze into her eyes allows the careening vessel to carry him through the mist at speeds that astound, sails full billow into joyful waters; he believes his compass guides, his stars align.
Until it doesn’t. Until they do not.
For she has returned to the land.
Better the forest take her back to the mosses, the darkest sides of the oak, to the underbrush where the morels grow. Better the forest cover her in fern, a mound of dry stone and the decay of leaves consume a shining interrupted chrysalis, shed and broken and necessary in the transformation.
Listen to me. Hear me oh winged creature: Play not within the forest of the beast unless you know your purpose and your direction is clear.