One night, when fate had separated us and I knew I was losing you slowly, a fireball visited me in the darkness and woke me from my sleep. Having awoken, I could no longer see it, but felt you writhing inside me like a Dantean character clawing his way out. I held on to my aching chest as if heart-stricken, my beating pounding for the two of us, and collapsed upon the floor on my knees, gulping the breaths you were gasping for. The tears streamed down uninvited as my head warred against the idea that you suffered, that pain engulfed in a backdraft. My soul struggled to understand the sudden loss of yours emptying out like disgorged victuals on an irreverent altar of oblation; I, your sacrifice on a pedestal, and you the profane priest that held a knife across my throat. So I cried out to the God that hears even the desolate whispers of His beloved sinners, but not for me; I murmured your name over and over again like an ancient incantation in another tongue, the image of your burning flesh impressed upon me so that the pain of losing you over and over again would escape in the repetition like blisters forming upon my skin. And, in the end, I collapsed, exhausted and afraid that my intercession had not reached the inner sanctum of Heaven where angels gather to worship and convey messages from His people, that your own guardian angel had abandoned you in the darkness of your room where you fervently prayed like a virtuous saint, longing for the hankering of a second chance.


“Angel Underground” by Michael Reineke


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