By Neil Beynon
See the worn stones, uneven and scattered like die cast by the giants.
Let your feet find the path, they do not forget.
Feel your skin raise as you draw closer.
But do not worry: the magic will not hurt you.
Pause by the wall; trace the words beneath the paint.
Find the gap and remember to hold in the years as you go.
Should you pass another soul do not stop, do not speak.
The spell is easily cast and swiftly shattered.
At the bronze be wary of the metal or wake the frozen from their icy embrace.
They would not thank you to be freed of their chains.
Look up at the slate sky and walk the grass of the hill that does not change.
Further down, further in: past the alleys, paste the wasteland.
Mind the shades as you go: the buildings that have sunk away.
The snippets that loop endlessly, the faces faded and distorted.
Stop in the stone courtyard.
Raise your eyes to the window looking for the ghost not there.
Feel the dark heat locked away, hear the stone speak.
See the fragile chains that tether and know how thin your protection is.
See the mirror and the stranger looking back from the land you cannot tread.
Give thanks he is on the other side. That he is gone.