The painting named “Hope, II” by the artist Gustav Klimt

Someone’s roof over our heads
but always our bellies and souls full
These hot sleepless nights take me back
to old stories blurred to one

I’d rub my mum’s belly like a lamp
and pregnant with child as she was
she’d spin tales of genies and of life
and I’d drift off in wonder

I only ever wanted to be a brother
and this woman who gave me life
and such wonderment and then even that purpose
…did I discard her having had my fill?

When did I become such a cruel son?

On Judgement Day 
as we trudged the valleys toward the fields
of our collective reckoning, I saw a sufi soul
among the blackly damned and the brightly blessed

He shone brighter than any other at first sight
but the further I studied him the more I came to see that he was empty of his own light source,
reflective like the moon

A translucent core, yet beaming, pulsing
brimming from the edges of his being
A strange thing to behold
His selfless existence, lived even after death:
to magnify the light of those around him like a lens

So sad I was then, to see him sent to that deepest depth worse than the seven hells
to that great nothing reserved only
for the godliest of nihilists for wasting their earthly hours

For by withdrawing from his fellow man
and brushing away his footprints behind him with each step,
his sublimated ego had committed the biggest conceit of all against his divine Creator:
to reject the divine light of his own life

Great sufi poems tell of the conference of birds that searched for their kind’s greatest, and through great trials and tribulations 
came to find them within their own reflections 

Yet here this sufi mystic who saw God in every reflection but his own…
Oh, but if he had only looked down at the water!

Instead his soul was snuffed out.
As in life, so too after it.
Fanaa.

The tesseract – suspended in midair – spun on a corner through multiple axes, multiple dimensions. Contained within it was the bare homunculus of a man, sleeping. He lay foetally inverted, the crown of his head pressed into a point, his forehead flattened by one side. The box barely contained his magnificence, as though ready to burst.

His eyes were closed, as they had been since before time began. Since before he had conceived of the concept of time. 

Sometimes the man who dreamed the universe, cramped in his box and clasping his knees, would twitch or the blisters of his face would bleed. He never moved any more than that. A twitch. Truly, little else was required. A twitch.

The ones who observe and obey watched from their room as the spinning tesseract glowed. They bowed their reverent halos to acknowledge the emerging new age. So it was how the ones who observe and obey heralded creation.

It’s obvious isn’t it?
That you have as many pasts behind you
as you do potential futures ahead

More, if anything
So be calm

All that accruing life to extrapolate from as you deem fit
Play with the switchboard, flip experiences from noise to signal, and vice versa

Then perhaps your little terrors will subside –
of paths never to be taken, 
of persons that will not become,
of flattened superpositions –
with the assured knowledge
that he who stands here now
came to that point by many ways 
and a multitude of faces, an evershifting story

Inexplicable staircases
intact, in forest
untouched by walkers
wisely the animals avoid
deadened air, disturbed
only by djinni invitation
a woodland sirencall
to ascend the curiosity

Do not climb

Waypoints between worlds
always moving
scattered through neutral lands
where the thread is thinnest
and old eyes observe the old pacts 

Do not violate

Lying in ambush, gleeful
imitation of flesh
the face wearers, voice mimicks
not quite human
enough to bait fools

Do not listen

Innocents rent in two
body portions found years later
unaged, freshly departed
only broken minds return whole

Do not climb

this my shit fr

The Man You Could’ve Been comes for us all on our deathbed.

More fearsome than the reaper and made more terrifying by the abyss or hell that often follows them both. The Man You Could’ve Been is the greatest horror our conscious minds can imagine and he is real. He is the stick by which your deeds fall short on God’s measure. He is the once attainable that slipped further and further, first from our grasp, and then, our sight. There is no overtaking him or closing the gap. Only a lifetime’s fall from grace.

When the veil lifts from our eyes and our mouths are closed to this world, The Man You Could’ve Been climbs out of the mirror whence he watched you idle and succumb. He is happier than you, even in the dying light. He is rich in material wealth and spirit. He is purer of soul. He is much greater loved and envied by his peers and angels alike. He is luckier, and blessed all the more for being so.

No man has stood unbroken before The Man He Could’ve Been, nor shall any. Not prophet or king or humble beggar. The Man You Could’ve Been is of divine heavenly spirit – what else could perfection be made of? He is the Ideal. And when you die it is he who ascends on your behalf. For as much as he stands as evidence of your failures, you stand as proof of the hurdles he has overcome.

And the Man You Are weeps at your squandered life and the eternity of hell or the void that is left to you.

I’ve always been fascinated by our human anatomies and the choices, if He exists, that God made when designing us. Two kidneys, two lungs, but one heart. Two eyes and two ears, but only one mouth and nose. I can smell the significance of these choices, but I cannot see the logic in full.

How magnificent a redundancy to have two of an important limb or organ! We sit safe in the knowledge that were one to fail in a lifetime, we could hobble along at half-speed rather than face immediate oblivion. A left-handed existence is better than no existence.

But then what to make of those solitary pieces with no such backup? Our one brain and one spinal cord. Pieces that I can only posit are too delicate to be replicated embryonically.

But then what of twins? Two brains between them, two spines and two mouths. Does that not suggest such redundancies are possible in the womb for the lone babe also?

I must admit the topic lies close to my heart. I was after all a twin, born in some ways incomplete. And with the recent passing of my brother, I am left to hobble along at half-speed. A whole body, missing a phantom other body.

The human brain splits into two hemispheres, each specialised to different roles. Presumed of equal importance, but different nonetheless. Were I and my brother the same? Perhaps we both functionally missed half a mind.

Two hemispheres, but within them only one pineal gland. God. Again, that singular organ surrounded by pairs. Did you know Descartes thought it housed the soul, due to its singular nature?

I wonder on these Godly biological concepts and cannot help but extrapolate. I cannot in good conscience assume the soul is imparted to us in tandem with our eyes, or heart or brain. And if it be later, then is one soul shared between twins in the womb? Does that explain the empty part of me?

Am I half a soul? Or if the soul be an asymmetric organ, am I less? Am I to live a left-handed existence without him?

Pocket mirror in Narcissus’ hand
the ever-gazed, most-loved love
Isn’t beauty’s fairness a virtue to consume?

Ruinous mirror whose shattered shards 
reflect a thousand monstrous eyes
Is facade or truth not worth devouring you?

Unventured hero of stillborn soul
lost beyond your surface deep
Is it worthiness that lurks beneath?

Mirror, mirror for lonesome heart
steamed by breath, still cold to touch
Is your company but an artifice?

Standing amid the stream, I am awash with time

knowing each part only the once

before life goes its way beyond me

But beached as I am, well within my mind’s eye

where waves crash over me again and again

I relive the moments lost to me in the stream

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