The Dreamer

The Dreamer sits in his ivory tower,
among faded balls of yarn and tarnished picture frames,
and portraits with no faces,
and he cries.

His tears forge lacerations upon his face,
down his neck.
They burrow into the fabric of his clothes
until they reach skin,
and can go no further.

His hands shudder,
convulse,
with tremors that have no source
save for his fear,
fear of his own ineptitude,
fear of the memories of empathy
the absence of which breaks him down,
pulverizes him,
until he forgets if ever he’d ever known hope,
if it had once filled him up with thoughts of grandeur,
if he had ever leapt across a precipice,
instead of leaving in defeat.
It hardly matters now, if such a thing existed.
It is meaningless to him.

He sits in his ivory tower
which was once his home
but is now his prison,
drinking cold tea, which once was sharp and flavorful.
Its rough edges have long since been rounded out,
filed down,
by too much milk and too many ice cubes.
He sits in his ivory tower and waits,
waits for the world to end.

He had looked out his window
and saw everything and nothing.
He had taught a the girl,
tries to twist the technicolored threads of her future
and make a light to guide her,
from the omnipresent night in which she sits blindly.
He tries to lend her every possible protection
in anticipation of the impact
that will comes at the end of her fall.
He tries to bring her happiness.

And when he could not, he watched,
watched as her most sacred desire ruptured in a thousand vibrant pieces
which scattered across the barren expanse of the rock bottom
which ended her fall.
For a moment, the fragments oscillated between the brilliance of their former glory
and the sluggish, disconsolate brown of their defeat.
Finally, though, they crystallized
into broken glass.

He beats against the locked door of her fate,
but no matter how hard he pounds it,
choking on silence and bile and tears,
it is as closed to him now as it once was open.
He has lost his talent.
He surveys the world before him
and sees naught but locked doors
and broken dreams.

Soon, the ground is littered with glass
with no one there to pick up the pieces
as he used to.
Dreams slide under doors in the form of rejection letters and eviction notices,
slip under skin in self hatred.
People cut themselves on that which they hold too close to their hearts.

And so the Dreamer cries into his mugs of tepid tea
and watches his pictures turn yellow with age.
He laments his failure, laments his own broken dreams.
He laments that while time washed over him,
he clutched at scraps of his past.
It was only when he looked up from his tweed jackets,
black and white photographs,
that he saw how his views have frayed at the elbows,
yellowed with age .
He waits for the day when the broken dreams pile high enough
that when he leaps from his ivory tower, he may impale himself upon them.

Joe Polsky
Age 14, Grade 8
The Fieldston School High School
Gold Key

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