Ozymandias

by Michael Heubel

Artwork “Shutters on Shutters” by Holly Harris


I met a man from an antique land 
Veins dripping poison opioids 
And something vaguely humanoid 
Called out to me alone 
Eyes settled on a metronome 
Metering my measurements, and thus the journeys spoke: 
 
"I traveled further than most and 
Discovered many things 
But I couldn't bring to mind my mind 
When they asked me what I found." 
 
A pause for reflection and a re-up discovery 
Fevered eyes wide wise with clarity 
 
"My bloods are bringing unto me 
These versions of my memory 
Strange things, they spoke to I 
Dark novels borne on different tides 
But with no proof there was no truth 
And so my words were lost on them." 
 
He rambled on increasingly 
With opioids unceasingly 
Creating in his visions these 
Delusional realities 
 
"A statue out among the sands still scribing silent history 
The frailty of humanity, oh! The uselessness of memory! 
His name was Ozymandias 
The king of ages past 
The ruler of the shifting sands 
The Nameless City named at last." 
 
And with no proof 
He hadn't truth 
And thus his words were lost on me 
 
"A placard saying struck a chord 
And here it is again," he said 
Revealing up his arm, the harming 
Needle pricks were evident 
The journeys spoke of precedent 
And lonely disaffection 
 
But handcuffed to a happy fierce 
Addiction to his memory 
I leaned upon the railing, still 
Intrigued by his calamity 
The ranger 
Well 
The journeys spoke 
Of heroin, his heroine 
The mistress of his fortune 
The harming needles arming me 
For all the revelations 
 
"Good thing my journeys are for me," said he 
"Good thing my mind is floating free," said he 
"Good thing I'm free of tethers 
Free of sadness
Free of pain..." 
 
The traveler paused with agony 
Eyes dilated with leavening 
Contentment or complacency? 
 
"At last I'm free of everything."

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