By MORGAN ARGOR
With bleeding, calloused hands you tore through the Metalworker’s storage box,
Each vial home to a microcosm—a tiny universe preserved forever, untouchable in glass.
A collective chasm of infinite futures that will never come to pass.
Your higher self once whispered past longing, blind tears,
“As the future goes on, the world sucks more and more.
So I hope in some far-off alternate, he gets to live the early 2000s again.
I hope him and Sever can meet again too,
And have their own slice of the Free Worlds ‘til the end of time.
That somewhere in another dimension, far past blackest Igvarmord,
The stars burn forever dark beneath soft, hypnotic nebulae
That gleam only for them—
And their little lost Celestial.”
You never forgot what you saw, hands quavering as you swirled the test tube,
With the mechanical precision of a geneticist operating a centrifuge,
Reaping all the fruits of the Natural Selection you’d given up on long ago—
With none of the Wrath.
In that sickly sweet moment, dark enough to cast a storm across all past and future dimensions, you finally knew:
Cradled gently between placid ghosts of you and Sever,
Both twice as old as you were on that day for which you could never atone,
The bright blue eyes of that newborn Celestial, crystallized with raw, wild potential,
Would haunt you until the day you died alone.
But with tears that gutted you like the broken glass shards of a vodka bottle,
Punched to bloody pieces on a lonely road,
You finally understood that time was as malleable as the contents of these vials of stardust.
You never had to die alone.
You never even had to die.
They didn’t name the most controversial “insecticide” of our time after you for nothing.
You too slip through the ceiling vents of this torture pit called life,
Your thousand shattered fragments turning to cyanide when exposed to heated air.
Notorious, yet always striking without warning,
Your noxious chorus of convulsed screaming
shows that life was never fair.
But here you stand, victorious, clad with blazing flames as pauldrons,
Laughing at the sorrow of a dying sun—no longer staring down the barrel of a loaded gun.
So with a knife in your back, and a hole in your heart,
I command you: Go tear this rotten world apart.
As if waking from a nightmare,
You climbed back up the throat of the beast,
And knew the stars were right.
After all, the Devil’s son can’t go down without a fight.
It matters not what happened centuries ago,
Across spacetime’s sickest, strangest trials—
Keep your gaze turned ever-starward,
And never forget the Metalworker’s vials.
For though emptiness and sorrow lurk ripe at every turn,
There’s plenty of lives just like this one where we’ve come back to feel the burn.
So few can change the course of time and death,
But you, dark Celestial, survived the trial by fire
And crossed the bone-cold blizzard of once-snuffed desire.
Certain sparks are doomed to ignite together,
Long after their dreams burn to dust.
But even if it feels like sinking knee deep in grave dirt,
Sometimes, all you can do is trust.