Ashes and Hitchhikers

Ashes and Hitchhikers

A Poem by Elizabeth

Alone isn't so bad, kid.
Anyway, you'd better get used to it. Because there's no real secret to life, you know.
Along the way, you'll pick up strangers. They'll hitchhike on the same path as you for awhile. You'll share a cup of coffee and maybe a kiss. It might start to feel like they know you or that you've somehow found that rare kindred spirit. Don't be fooled.

They will leave, baby. They can't help it. It's inevitable. They will fade or show their cracks. They will run away in the middle of the night. They will brand your heart with the best of intentions. They will die.

People are really just ashes, love. They are just flesh waiting to be kept in mixed up memories or stored in marble urns or cold mausoleums. You will try to keep remnants of them pressed in the pages of your memory like flowers in an old family bible. You will want to hide away old photographs and yellowed letters to remind yourself that they were real. But they weren't. They never were. It was always just you.

It's better to let these things go while the blood is still pooling. Wash it from your hands and from your heart with ice cold precision. Let the blood set in, and the stain of them will never leave your soul. If you do that enough times, you'll be a living tombstone etched with the
names and dates of other people's lives. It takes a hell of a sandstorm to smooth those etchings, again. The sand is mighty painful and it almost never completely erases the hitchhikers from your heart.

But alone is not so bad, baby. Once you learn the rules, you'll see.
Don't pick up hitchhikers.
Stay away from old photographs and keep out of the graveyards.
Don't ever look back. You'll be just fine.

I love you, kid. I may only be ashes. But I love you, none the less.

© 2017 Elizabeth

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Stark, but it has a bleak kind of truth to it, no?
The imagery here is great, and the speaker's tone is simultaneously chilling and compassionate. I wonder if the speaker is addressing herself or someone else- and the ambiguity is oddly satisfying.

Posted 2 Months Ago

Nice poem, I like it in a schizophrenic way. On the one hand being alone is pure and beautiful. But then would we appreciate it so much without the hitchhikers to fill the gaps that we can't see ourselves?

Posted 10 Months Ago


9 Months Ago

Thank you. Interesting perspective. I was thinking more along the lines of viewing solitude as the o.. read more

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3 Reviews
Added on August 3, 2016
Last Updated on January 21, 2017



Wonderland, TN

I am Alice through the looking glass...I mix my metaphors with barbiturates. I take my mania with a glass of milk and I rarely look before crossing the street. Walk a mile in my mary janes, friend. .. more..

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