To the ferryman I pay another favor. Shake his hand and walk from his mooring. Walking the familiar path through the mire, Keep your head high and ignore the sinking.
Every step back from the water, An eternity of wretched squelching. How many times have I walked this path. Memories of youth and owning softer bones.
The aging shows now not just inside, But clawing at the skin and hollowing of the eyes. A distant heartbeat now darker punctuates each squelch from my feet. Vultures and monsters lock eyes with my shadow.
Not quite dead but far from living, I ponder the payment I keep on making. How is it I can turn from the boat. The answers are fleeting almost a whisper.
My eyes are drawn down by softest suggestion, And through the darkness I see the bones and flesh breaking. My chest burns and bleeds bleeding crimson upon the reeds . In horror I wail soundlessly into the mud.
Hands dive to every break Clawing over every wound, Feeling the scar of every knife, Faces born to every memory. The hurt the only feeling that remains.
I turn to look back at the creature I left, A tear rolling down a fleshless face. Caressing his own heart, He raises his head and at last our eyes meet.
“You show me love with every heartbreak, You come to me lost and with torture aplenty, So broken by your own mind, I make that which tortures you mine.”
The Ferryman opens his palm and shows me his treasure, My own heart beating and bleeding with poison. “Walk free from misery and grow anew, I will wait again to trade away the pain the world will gift you. But know this my love I cannot save you, For in your chest beats my own broken heart, Torn by every time I free you.”