January Contest – “Hope” – First Place

of nightmares and of hope by aristhought

nightmares held so tightly beneath bruised ribs,
in the slumber hours of the night;
flutter out the window take form and unfurl
black smoke
over the city, the sparse twinkling lights below.

famished, high above eating moonlight,
spitting acid dissolving clouds.
any hope in its midst, gone now.

there they witness the stories
held within the city’s
slow steady heartbeat below.

a man kisses his husband by the kitchen sink,
it’s been a long day, one of them says,
we’ll settle down, we’ll be okay.
a teen drives her friend home from the hospital,
roads are empty now at night
but their hearts are healed and their hearts are full.
someone hugs their baby to sleep,
another sings a shower song,
and yet another’s hand in hand with loved ones
on quiet streets,
someone’s painting masterpieces
that one day the world will see,

and these stories grow and dance below
with their humble, human glow;
in their light these nightmares break
into dust into atoms
rearranged,
into air returned to fill our lungs;
in the morning we’ll awake again,
in the morning we’ll breathe another day,
unlatch ourselves from these heavy fears
set us free,
they breathed: you’ll try again when dawn breaks,
we’ll try again when dawn breaks.

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