you’ve been waiting so long, you forgot what not holding your breath felt like

i.
when he comes back, there is no famine or plague.
he comes back
out of nowhere, and you feel
colour bleed back into the world,
music return to the wind,
life to your veins.

you’ve been waiting for this for so long, it takes you by surprise
like rain after a drought,
like summer after frost,
like the hatching of a dragon
long after they left.

when he comes back, there is no war raging at the borders or
tearing the land apart, its sons and daughters
mowed down and crushed
like field flowers in the summer harvest.

it’s upsetting, because you’ve been told
to wait for the time of need,
but the world was often in need,
and you were always in need,
and in short –
you should never trust a prophecy.

you’ve been waiting for this for so long, you don’t know what to do.

ii.
once upon a time, there was a just king. no—
once upon a time the king was just terrible,
and you vowed to change all that.
once upon a time the king had a son,
his flashing smile as blinding as
his arrogance,
his sunlit hair as golden as
his heart.

you were promised a world of acceptance and freedom,
so you shook hands with destiny
and didn’t once wonder
about the price.
but you should never trust a prophecy,
you should never toy with destiny,
and you should never fall in love
with a prince.

(you didn’t always love him, but
it’s hard to remember how not loving him felt.)

you called him king and that made him one,
or he was always one and you just spoke the truth
into existence.
you weren’t always sure he was the promised one:
it took time and knowing,
it took effort and friendship,
it took the sun out of your eyes.
it took losing him.

you’ve been waiting for him for so long, you forgot
what loving him felt like—
or so you told yourself.

you were always a terrible liar.

iii.
was it worth it?
people have asked you this, a long time ago.
you looked at them and told them
that sometimes it’s not a matter of
choice, that destiny
is a fickle beast,
it twists and turns and molts
leaving behind a future with each skin.
you tell them you have
more regrets than any man should bear,
but you wouldn’t – couldn’t – change a thing;
it would take the impossible, it would take
being someone you’re not,
and not even magic can do that.
you tell them the path was not always clear,
but you’re proud
of the kingdom you helped him build.
you tell them all these things
and keep the real answer to yourself.

was it worth it?
yes, yes, yes.

iv.
you’re angry at him for not coming back sooner,
and honestly,
he was always a sleepyhead
but this is just ridiculous.

you’re angry about all the lies you told him, and
about the fact he never guessed the truth.
you’re angry about his ingratitude, his harsh words,
you’re angry about all the times you never kissed him,
you’re angry about a lot of things, but the truth is—

you’ve been waiting for this for so long, you’re actually terrified.

v.
in the end, there was never any other option.

you should never try to change the world,
and you should never trust a prophecy,
and you should never fall in love
with your best friend,
but you went and did all three—

so where does that leave you?

vi.
because you are a child of the earth,
her power runs through your fingertips;
because you are a child of the earth,
she speaks to you,
telling tales of sleeping kings, and of kings
who sleep no more.

you’ve been waiting for this for so long, you think your heart is bursting:

your chest controlled chaos,
frenzied hummingbirds,
dragonfire.

the last of your kind have gone,
but they say you can choose your family—
and you’ve always, always, always
chosen him.

vii.
when he comes back, the world
doesn’t need him, but that’s alright,
because you do.
when he comes back, magic has trickled
out of the world, mostly,
except for you.
when he comes back, it’s to a world
that is finally learning not to fear love,
and maybe, just maybe, you can hope—

(you’ve been waiting for this for so long, you’ll take whatever you can get.)

when he comes back, his hair is still
golden and his eyes flutter blue,
and you think—
i am here for you
never leave me
i would wait for you all over again.

but words are slippery and your mouth
is a traitor,
too busy longing for things
it never had, so you just say:

Arthur.

he smiles with his eyes,
calls you by your name,
speaks you back into existence.

you’ve been waiting for this for so long, you never stopped to imagine
how good it would feel.

 


[header image: excalibur, as featured on opening credits of bbc’s “merlin”]

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2 thoughts on “you’ve been waiting so long, you forgot what not holding your breath felt like

  1. I’m sorry I didn’t see this before (it’s been a while since I’ve been here) but what a powerfully amazing work to come back to. You have such a way with words, and you reminded me not only how much I love words themselves, but how much I loved those you’re writing of. I forgot how many feels I used to have about them, but now I’m washed in them all over again. I don’t have the necessary skills to describe how truly beautiful this is, but that doesn’t take away from it being so. Thank you for this light in the dark.

    1. No apology needed in the slightest! I have been rather scarce myself around here, but it’s always nice when words sneak up on you and demand to be let out, and I am happy if I have nudged you back in that direction as well. Looking forward to you sparking more lights along the path.  ♥️ (Also, those feels, amirite? Despite literally everyone warning me, I somehow wildly underestimated how hard they would hit me, and more the fool me for that…)

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