Stevie Voss is an emerging writer from Manchester Township, New Jersey. Previously, he has been published in The Ekphrastic Review. His work explores queer romance with influences from Greek mythology, young adult fiction, and graphic novels. When not writing, Stevie is a student at Mercer County Community College majoring in Education. If interested in keeping up with his writing, you can find Stevie on all social media @Justtstevie.
There is soul among the early morning dew,
It was sewn in long ago by gods older than time,
Gods who carefully crafted the Small Things in the universe, like the way he says my name on a Sunday morning,
Gods whose names have become nothing more than the forgotten gratitude there is for the simple pleasures,
There is divinity in the blanket of water that covers the sea of grass blades,
When the solar cup is spilled, pouring ochre colored paint water onto the twilight canvas.
And the birds still sleep in trees, and the trees still sleep in the earth, and the earth still sleeps in the hearts of billions,
A cool draft seeping through the window the only other thing besides myself alive in the universe,
Zephyr, a holy Romeo, climbing in through the bay window,
Wraps his arm around my shoulder, a heavenly embrace,
The shawl of the universe weaved into my back,
My shoulder blades a road map for the constellations,
My spine a celestial teather, an ethereal motherland,
Reaching out like the ends of the galaxies, stretching to the farthest reaches of my body
I feel the cosmos pulse inside my veins, and beat like oars against my skin,
And for a second, I am the Harbinger of Apollo, and all the other myths,
And for a second, I feel as loved Hyacinth,
To be so beautiful, that I get to sleep in the heart of the Earth,
I, a consecrated Juliet, sitting there in honor,
With Cassiopeia sprawling down my back, and into the hearts of billions,
A guest in the eldritch hollow of the old gods, who built small things,
Gods that were less ark, and more architecture,
Engineers of the human experience,
In which all roads lead to Sunday mornings,
Designers of the pilgrimage of consciousness,
Where every struggle is in honor to the relic of Sunday mornings, and the way he used to say my name,
And for a second, the veil between human and god thins,
And they start climbing in through the bay window,
And then, almost as soon as it came,
The draft is gone,
While the birds still sleep in the trees,
While the trees still sleep in the Earth,
While my heart still sleeps in the cerberus of my chest,
While the gods of small things still sleep in the hearts of billions, just like my own:
The first time I saw you,
You looked like 12 in the afternoon,
The apples of your cheeks looked like the sun,
And I couldn’t help but feel like Icarus in the winds of time, airborne and uninhibited
In awe of how much life I still had ahead of me,
For a just second, it looked like the day could go on forever,
Your eyes were evidence to the fallacy of time,
A bucolic pasture across the center of your face, where gentle winds whispered the names of hallowed Titans and forgotten Mothers,
Its verdure plucked from Gaia’s garden, its roots riddled with old, forgotten magic.
Your eyes had the power to turn back time,
Because every time I looked at you, it happened all over again,
Because every time I looked at you, Orpheus stood on the precipice of the underworld about to take his final step,
Because every time I looked at you, I waited to see if you’d look back.
The second time I saw you,
You looked like July,
The weight of of a month caught between Summer and Fall sat at the corners of your mouth,
Weighed down by the middle of a journey, too far past the beginning, but not close enough to the end,
You smiled like a window seat on an airplane,
Caught between the feeling of your heart pushing through your rib cage with ecstasy,
But also with terror,
Elated at the chance to get to see all the beauty of human creation from the seat of a God,
But also petrified to realize how small you were,
To realize the distance between you and the ground, and you and the gods,
The fact that perspective had little to do with knowledge,
And everything to do with view, with height,
That when you stare at an airplane window long enough, you eventually just end up looking at your own reflection, a morbid Narcissus.
The last time I saw you,
I hardly recognized you.
The war fought on your smile, between past and future, was finally over
It was unclear who won, though it did not matter,
The present was the only true loser, lost in a pond that ripples with nostalgia every time you saw a picture from that bloody Summer
The sun had set on your cheeks, an ochre colored flush settled on most of your face,
The once overwhelming sense of purpose replaced with little more than an ornate farewell.
Your eyes were browner than the last time I saw them,
As if the cold chill of fall had began to creep into your very soul,
And began the death of the verdant orbs that once skimmed the rivers of time,
Gaia watched in horror as her prized plain ran barren, the gentle wind whispering nothing but empty promises of protection,
Do Gods change with the seasons too? Are they just as powerless to stop time as we are?
Your eyes were always my favorite.
Kind, pristine foliage that seemed too eternal, and too familiar, to be bound to just one lifetime,
Your eyes made time look like the myth of the human experience,
A fanciful story we told ourselves to try and explain things we couldn’t understand,
Like death, and memory, and change,
But you are the greatest myth of my life,
A fanciful story I told myself to try and explain things I couldn’t understand,
Like time, and love, and change.
In my wildest daydreams,
I imagine someone misses me the way I miss you:
In that ancient artifact way,
Where I am the last piece of a lost civilization,
The final son of Atlantis,
The message in a bottle to a New World Order they were not interested in meeting,
In that Greek tragedy way,
Where Titans are trapped beneath my skin,
And I am the living likeness of the ivory girl,
And I am the only face Narcissus could see in the puddle,
In that “I still remember how you took your tea in the morning” way
Where you are ruled by modern mythology,
In a world of science, where just my existence is enough to make you pious,
Worshipping the God of Nostalgia,
Where your most devout act is remembering my smallest methods of existence.
I still remember how you took your tea in the morning,
Sweet and sticky
You always managed to drip it down the edge of the cup,
And I hate that I can still replay that in my head like my favorite childhood movie
And I hate that I am so stuck on you, in little ways,
In that Old God way,
Where I forget you, until I don’t anymore.
Where I forget you, until you remember me.
Where I forget you, until I can’t stop remembering you.
In little ways,
Like how you took your tea in the morning,
When the sky just barely broke the clouds, a spilled cup of ochre colored water dripped into the window,
The pigmentation performed a daring dance with a thick ooze stuck down the side of a ceramic mug.
I think the biggest misconception about my nostalgia for that moment
Is that I always believed you got the honey stuck on the cup,
And never once believed that the cup was just as sticky, as the honey was.
The honey, a mere mortal, clinging to the back of a colossus,
Praying its grip strong enough to beat gravity,
As if gravity is not a scientific titan,
Unbeatable and unwavering
In my wildest day dreams,
I am the cup,
I am the thing that gets you up in the morning,
I am the thing you grapple to for existence,
I am the thing you are stuck on.
But on my wildest day,
For just a second, when I open my eyes and I haven’t yet come back to the real world,
And I feel the the ochre colored drip on my face,
The faucet pouring in from the window,
I forget how you take your tea in the morning.
I Kissed a Deadboy and He Lived to Tell About It
The first time I killed you,
Was the second hardest thing I’ve ever done.
The hardest was keeping you dead.
My mind was a master of necromancy, my kiss adorned with lipstick made from the Monkey’s Paw,
I subconsciously bested Orpheus’ task over and over again,
As if Tartarus was merely your winter home that you went to when I got cold,
No matter how hard I tried, I just kept wishing you back into existence,
Just kept kissing you back into my life,
Your teeth lined like graveyard tombstones,
My tongue a midnight visitor in a solemn church,
Your mouth like a cemetery in the fall,
Your kiss tasted like dying grass, and warm cranberry juice,
The stories of the dead, our stories, crying out from the back of your throat,
Reaching out, begging for me to listen, for me to remember that of which I wanted nothing more than to forget,
Finally, I give in, and lean into the grave where your mouth should be,
As I listen to the stories and begin to reminisce, I watch as Clotho began to weave again
Nostalgia is the bible we read from in order to worship those we have lost,
But Grief is the god we evoke as an excuse to take them back.