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Sixteen years. This is how long
it’s taken me to reach this place,  alone.
The slight thinning of the fog
began this journey.  I wanted more.
The fog thinned, too faintly to see,
then to soullessness. I was tricked –
Clarity brought another level
of opaqueness. There was an unseen
maze, twisted,  convoluted,
like the bowels of a voracious beast.

A decade later, the linings
of the walls had grown smooth, straight.
My footing betrayed me, as I fell
into the deepest darkness.  Even there,
I found the footholds of hope
and ascended,
back to my prison.

And now, I am at the end,
my back to the wall,  waiting
to see if there is anything else
besides these dead end bricks.
I wait with the anguish of pain,
torture, tears, and sleeplessness.

What of that last step,
that leap to greatness,  into nothing?
If I blink, with one last flinch,
will I be ghosted
to walk through these walls,
or is it my prison
that will shade to its emptiness
for me to walk endless miles,
possibly cold, wet, and hungry?

At least,  I

  will      be