I inhale; short, adrenaline-tinged breaths, heart perched high in my chest and my face a worried mask.
Again, the foretelling of my downfall, the magnetic prediction and inescapable future...I see through the thin veil of the present, surrounded by images of a broken miracle. Bridges burned, misunderstanding budding like wretched weeds in the garden of good intention, ties severed and hearts marred.
My body knows...deep in the sinews and veins of my flesh, it is awake. Well aware of that vicious, silent beast, that livid and hungry giant, dripping with pestilence that calls itself my friend. It whispers to my skin, shadows over me and grasps my jaw, putrid lies snaking through my ears, breathed hot and wet from its lowly growling throat.
Beast, o beast! You tempt me so...make me believe that we are one, that you are I, and I am you, and we are one together.
But you have caused me nothing but pain! You took my friends and turned them into concubines, you took my confidantes and made them lustful pursuers. The damage you wreak is without boundary, and its effects everlasting. How many countless rivers of sweet milk have you turned sour? How many gardens turned to ashes?
Each time you twist my intentions, make me believe that I want more, that what I want is not trust but passion. O evil abomination, be gone from me!
I will be damned if I let you burn my Promised Land! Forty years have I walked in the desert, and forty years have I squandered. Now, finally, to be given a garden!
Were I a weaker being, I would fall to my knees and beg for mercy with clenched fists and a furrowed brow.
But I will not. Cowed, you will weep in a dark corner and hide your face from me! Subdued, you will gnash your teeth and snarl in hollow threat! Broken, you will prefer death to my wrath!
I have risen.