Poem – She Rides With Him

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Title: She Rides With Him
Author: the_wiggins
Era/season/setting: In between seasons 5 and 6. Shortly after The Gift.
Rating: T
Warnings: Suicidal ideation/sorta attempt, car crash. (No depictions of character death.)
Author’s Note: My first fanfic poem. Would never have thought to do it if it weren’t for thenewbuzwuzz‘s influence and all of her wonderful work promoting BTVS poetry. And thank you so much Buzwuzz for agreeing to beta on such short notice! You are a treasure. <3
This was initially intended to be one of those “X number of times this thing didn’t actually happen and one time it did” kinda things. Except that one of the sections just kinda took over and next thing I knew it was the whole poem and way longer than I’d entended the combined 5 sections to be in the first place. Of course it was also the most angsty by far. But despite the angst, I don’t think it’s entirely grim. I hope you all like it!
Conscrit is always welcome.

She Rides With Him
She rides with him as he rushes down the nighttime highway,

the black beast of his car turned tiny by the great open desert,

              a speck,

a dark seed carried through the vastness,

                  nothing more.

He hears the whisper of a voice in the muted wind and turns,

half-expecting to see her there

on the other side of the broad bench seat.

But she’s too faint,

stretched too thin,

torn to mist by the hungry air.

Yet he swears she is with him as he plants his foot against the pedal.

He needs to see her more clearly, so he presses his eyes shut.

And for a moment he’s there, with her, instants before the air consumes her.

He taps her on the shoulder, shaking his head, this time he’ll take the di–-

           But his thoughts are shattered,

       Smashed and torn like everything else.

         All around him is the rending of metal, of glass,

                   of years of bloodsoaked memories.

The car opens like a flower

   and everything

flies                    apart

 into

   fragments

     sharp     painfulbright

                                       gleaming.

And he is broken

                              free

        flying

twisting up with her and the wind

  wrapped in arms made of air

                                           and love

          and other insubstantial things.

But

weightlessness,
is too lovely

to live

for long.

And he is heavy.

So, so heavy

with sin

and guilt

and selfish intentions.

So he falls.

     

Of course he does.

He rolls and

        bounces across the hard ground.

Things snap inside him.

His head smacks against a half-buried rock.

And as he lies there,

he knows he’s reached his inevitable fate.

Left with useless limbs

and a mouthful of dirt,

curst for trying to enter Eden.

He sobs a tiny puddle into the desert.

Why is he still here?

Why does he have to

keep   

being

here?

But…

       maybe he doesn’t.

Given a few hours, the Sun

(mercifully merciless queen of day)

will come wipe the worry from his brow,

burn the ache from his bones,

purify them with ritual flame.

Yes.

Sweet, sweet sunshine.

He lets his head collapse onto the sand.

A breeze forms cool fingers,

trailing along his bloodied cheek.

He closes his eyes,

wanting to be soothed.

But the cruel wind

(demanding bitch)

will not soothe for long.

It buffets and grabs at him,

yanking at his coat by the lapels.

And he hears her voice,

a little different every time,

scornful,

           pitying,

resigned,

disgusted,

              forgiving

                            …loving?

Now he knows he’s imagining things.

The tone shifts but the words never do.

     He hears them

again,

              and again…

                       You promised.

I can’t, he replies, pleading.

Can’t you see, love?

I can’t. Can’t help anyone.

Can’t save anyone.

Not you,

       not Dawn,

             and as for myself…

we both know there’s nothing left to save.

But the voice will not go silent.

           It continues

till the

                      words

                      overlap   

        lost in a cacophonous roar

   loud as the air rushing over his ear,

angry as the wind slapping sand into his face.

He doesn’t know what she expects him to do,

how can he stand,

let alone make the trip back to town?

But she gives him

no peace,

refuses to let him rest.

And he never could bear

her disappointment.

                                He pushes

his body

                               (wretched old thing)

upwards with geological slowness.

                                Bones grate against each other

like tectonic plates.

                                He quakes and shivers

as he snaps them back into place.

He pulls

                               himself

into something

                                that might look a little

like his old shape

                                to the distant and calloused eye.

The car sits, a hundred feet away,

folded around a light pole.

And beyond it the road cuts

an agonizing line through the desert.

Back to the one person he knows hurts as much as he does.

Back to his promise.

As he travels that brutal line,

he allows himself to imagine

that Buffy walks beside him.

The wind has softened,

grown mostly silent.

But as the orange glow

of the town they once shared

blooms out of the desert air,

he thinks he hears

one last faint whisper.

Thinks he feels

the dandelion soft

brush of lips on his cheek.

His lips curve into the grim outline of a smile

as he trudges wearily back toward town.

Originally posted at https://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/643865.html

the_wiggins

the_wiggins