Aphelion Issue 281, Volume 27
March 2023
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What Is The Sound of One Heart Breaking?

by Iain Muir

The wind mourns about the walls.
Snow and ash fly on it’s breath.
Light and love dwell in my love’s halls.
I shiver, and wait for death.

The lantern’s light through the window gleams.
I see her dance and hear her laugh.
Another man lives in her dreams,
While my heart breaks in half.

Does Cupid laugh as he draws his bow?
The Gods as they roll their dice?
Her smile could melt a heart of snow,
And mine’s not made of ice.

In memory I hear her laugh
As I spoke to her of my troth.
A richer man has caught her eye,
And to him she’ll give her oath.

She’ll sell her youth for the sake of his gold,
Her beauty for baubles and trash.
So I stand and watch, out here in the cold,
While she whores for the sake of his cash.

He is ancient, and leprous, and vile.
He leers and drools as he sits in his chair.
She cares not. ‘Tis but for a while,
‘Til he’s buried, and she his widow fair.

A bony hand falls on my shoulder,
I see the scythe against the snow.
My companion smiles, and it grows colder.
He beckons. It’s time to go.

Good luck, my love, with your rich old man.
The time when I cared is past!
I’m going now to a warmer land,
And I’m done with you at last!

© 1998 Iain Muir

Iain Muir is a chartered accountant (no, he doesn't know what he did in his last life to deserve this) turned IT consultant, who lives in the wilds of Africa. (Well, Harare isn't that wild, unless there are riots on). His father read him to sleep with C.S. Lewis's Narnia stories before he could read, then gave him a copy of 'The Lord of the Rings' for his eighth birthday. This probably explains his fascination with the fantasy and SF genre. He is working on page 3 of a novel which steadfastly refuses to write itself.

Find more by Iain Muir in the Author Index

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