24 Hours Too Late

Taite Smith, Temptation. Oil on canvas, 2024.


By Alyssa Roze

        I remember the day I saw her, floating in an aura of blues and greens. White specs hovered over her skin, giving it this otherworldly flavoring. I felt waves of stun that shook the craters covering my body. That memory of her which lives within me unlocks the moment visions were met with consciousness. 

        Then admiration turned to hunger. Each day I’d orbit her, circling in patterns, infatuated by her existence–wishing and praying she’d meet my gaze, just once. Yet she twirled in her own space, balletic and witty. The most beautiful things never beg for attention, but I was stuck begging for hers. 

        Though she doesn’t have very many devotees, she is surrounded by thousands. In a sky full of stars it’s easy to grow blind. Especially when the brightest cluster of fire stands before you. It robs me of her gaze, and gives her false hope.

         I seem to have so little to offer, but I wince in pain at the thought of not sharing space with you. I’m at war with the entire universe, quite literally and as small as I am, my heart grows large as the ball of fire you can’t help but circle. 

        How could I exist in the same span as her but be denied any reciprocated affection at all? 

        Maybe there’s something wrong with me, maybe I’m just not special enough to grasp her attention for longer than a few hours. Day after day, every morning and night she never leaves my sight. 

        She rings in my mind, flustered dances, and I go mad counting my chances. That maybe, just maybe, one out of many full rotations she won’t miss my presence entirely. I chase her every moment of my miserable life, stuck in an endless loop. My days have merged together and my hope is slipping away. My one true love, my whole world seems to be smitten by another. One that the whole solar system depends on. I’m too cold to give her the same warmth. I’m too dark to share her light, and I’m not quick enough to capture her heart. I’m too late..