I Am Santo

Fiction, poetry, music and mindscape pictures by creative artist Jason Santo

When you were a child, they taught you to love big, to stretch your arms for a wide embrace and believe in another. The mothers found the fathers, and so there were children born in days of promise, when glass seas reflected doting Godlight and clear days afforded views of comfortable tomorrows. It was simple, this lesson: love and be loved. Adversities were eggshells underfoot, and effort was a reflex, a hand rising when the periphery spies approach. And it was easy! As youth exposed naive hearts, you would look, find, kiss, move, and fall sweetly, freely as if the height were only a fence length and not the cliff it later appeared when circumstance evolved, standing upright and new hands grabbing at dangerous impracticalities. A willing heart now a sin, this instructed allegiance to hope is viewed as religious fervor, like what’s required to madly dance with asps. Still the eyes stay open, the arms of the student stretching as if wings to catch impossible flight despite the hard rain of obligation and routine obscuring the path to big love. Connection’s a spark in a vacuum, starved of the rich oxygen of faith that you could find clarity again, that the deluge of now would cease and the road ahead revealing itself as a highway bisecting a desert. Walk West and each step, whether careful or stumbling, inches you closer, your arms unyielding, eyes unflinching, heart unguarded and belief hungry for a sea’s gentle, cool caress. It’s immeasurably far away, math failing to provide measure and logic daunting due to empirical uncertainty, but what’s taught rolls over facts, crushing sense and reason. Nothing is stronger than a heart searching for home, and though tomorrow appears unlikely, the sun rises once again and you walk as instructed, step by step toward love.


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Why bother drawing another breath? It’s only going to disappoint. These smooth pronouncements, oh how they make the legs quiver. Oh how they make the lust wet. And yet, stop. Keep the momentum in a downshift and bless the birthed dissatisfaction of hungry days. Because what’s right is right. Because the truth is a spit soliloquy echoing in the tinny foyer of this private Hell, convulsively alight in an unending, flickering blaze of soft dreams swallowed by an inferno of circumstance. Stare straight into the burn. Don’t flinch. Don’t fucking blink. Watch the wither, the curl into black after hopes ignited, illuminating briefly a path to bliss, then expiring unapologetically like the closes door after a lover says goodbye. Eyes straight. Forward always. The sear won’t hurt forever, because even suns lose their heat, their chaotic passions now only an echo in the still of black; light years of longing reduced to a pinpoint. To be that grand. But all that’s left are little words to carry this starshine need through bustling corridors of indifference. They float like dust motes caught in an afternoon’s amber afterthought, an attention paid like the drop of a penny after being handed change. “Keep breathing,” demands the body. But in the face of lust, the mind lets common cents skitter away underfoot, devalued by the periphery like a star unnoticed at night.
A couple weeks ago, I put out a random call for photo prompts and a bunch of people DM’d shots. Among them was this one by my friend Stephanie, also known as @ichbineincheeseburger. One of my very few real world friends that support what I do here, I was super thankful for her contribution which I edited a bit and then wrote to. Thank you Stephanie for sending this to me.

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