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Excerpt for Nights Like These by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

Nights Like These


Quintin Fortune


Published by Quintin Fortune at Smashwords


Cover Photo by Vaesen (Instagram: @_vaesen_)


Copyright 2018 Quintin Fortune


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Starry Night

Ever wonder what it all means,” Steve asked me.

We stood on the back porch, watching the night sky.

All the time,” I replied. “Haven't figured out why.”

Why what,” he asked, the haze of weed soaking his voice.

Why I wonder what it all means.”

There was a long silence.

That's deep,” he said finally.

And we've only scratched the surface.

Humanity understands very little of anything,

to be honest.

We've created little ideas. Turned them into theories.

Theories turn to facts turn to institutions.

Each claiming they're right and the others are wrong.

Humanity, the poor lot, bounces between these institutions.

Trying to cling to some form of understanding.

The simplest answer is always the easiest to grasp.

No matter what we believe,

we always find ourselves looking up.

Into the opulence of the stars and space.

For a moment, always the briefest of moments, we wonder.

Wonder what it all means.


Love(less)

It's not something I think about

I told Her.

We laid on the floor of her apartment.

The late afternoon sun rested on her couch.

Being alone

She asked, turning her head to look at me.

Her computer shuffled in another song.

It was a theme from a television show.

When you've lived with something for so long...

I started.

She looked up, quietly humming along.

It ended,

switching to a song I like.

I'm listening

She said, turning back to me.

I merged my thoughts with the music.

After eternity, I looked into Her jade green eyes.

It just becomes part of you

I explained with a shrug.

Those green eyes.

The eyes of innocence.

The eyes of an angel

a goddess

and beauty personified.

Does it ever hurt

She questioned, twisting her whole body to me.

I turned my attention back to the ceiling.

The dwindling sunlight crawled across.

It's not something I think about

I told Her.


Nights Like These

Nights like these

make for good one-night stands and bad breakups.

Nights like these

brings weather that is out of place for the season.

Night like these

dwell within the shadows of nostalgia.

Nights like these

are what our ancestors warned us about.

Nights like these

bring about days to remember or forget.

Nights like these

I find myself thinking of her, whoever she is.

Nights like these

are when we were just boys, our whole lives before us.

Nights like these

chills the heart and warms the soul.

Nights like these

makes one think about their decisions in life.

Nights like these

last a lifetime.


Compose/Construct

As hot as the heart of the sun.

As cold as a breakup kiss.

The melody hung in the air above us.

It danced and swayed.

It looped and swirled.

The applause silenced it for only a moment.

It faded away once the next piece began.

Bach or Strauss.

Beethoven or Vivaldi.

It was too dark to read the guide.

It was too similar to care.

All composers, like all creative minds, speak the same.

'This world as I see it,' they proclaim.

Every word. Every note. Every aria. Every tone.

Dots and dashes on a page speak volumes.

The voice of the composer builds and bellows.

The notes build a dream. An idea. A world.

Then

It stops.

Audibly dissipating.

Only the mote of musical memory remains.


Untitled #8

The mind wanders but the heart races

Legs become rubber as feet become clay

Nerves of steel connected to clammy hands

Strong stomach with a weak bladder

All within a form that is out of shape

Watery eyes accent ruby red lips

All hair colors soon fade to white

Quick reflexes tied to slow reactions

A steady hand reaches with trembling fingers

Tongue twisters playing tonsil hockey

Take a deep breath for a sigh of relief

Keep in step or fall in line

Singing one's praise while off key

Practice makes perfect, but perfection is impossible

The trains of thought keep loosing track

A sense of direction that wanders off

Tell the truth, even if you have to lie through your teeth

Cut off the nose to spite the face, because the nose knows

Wanderlust that keeps one rooted in place

What a mundane wonder is the human body.


Save Me (from Salvation)

It burns up here.

The radiance sears through everything

All this white

Clouds, clothes, wings

Reflecting the light, cooking us

They say you get use to it

After a while

But it has been centuries

Centuries on centuries on

And I still burn. Still sear. Still boil.

Skin blistering constantly by holy light

I think that's the real reason

The Morningstar fell

Not out of rebellion or pride

But just to find a place to cool off

I hear it's coldest next to him

Wonder if that black-winged beauty

Can tell me the quickest way out.


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