The ram. The first of the Zodiac.
The god of war.
Yes, war. That was what it felt like,
going to war. I don’t know
of another way to put it, really.
I felt like I was tumbling headlong
into a row of shields with spears protruding
between chiseled Spartan warriors,
their helmets gleaming in the moonlight.
Yes, war is what it felt like
when I lay my head to rest at night,
wondering if I would make it through
the next day, or the day after,
hoping that along the way I could find
a way to break through to you—
through that phalanx of bronze
and sinewed muscle.
I wanted to make you understand
that a Scorpio like me wouldn’t sting
with foul intent, wouldn’t fear
the thought of being crushed
by the ram’s horns, or under the boot
of the flaming god.
When I look up at the stars, at Aries,
I don’t see the ram, or imagine war.
Not at first, anyway. Nobody does.
Everything looks so still, so fragile
from this distance. Yet, I knew that
if I was among those same stars,
the ones I’ve looked upon so much
when I thought they might yield answers—
they would be at war, too. At war
with the universe, with each other.
Waiting to explode.
That is the Aries I imagine now.
That is the war I am fighting—
a war not against a single foe,
but one against the very fabric
of myself, the very thing that makes
us shine, us radiate forth a terrible
power that we gaze upon with awe,
waiting for the moment when
it will all be over—when we are
nothing more than a silent memory
in the blackness.
I have never prayed before.
But even still, I whispered
what could only have been
a near-silent prayer to nobody
at all, to the blackness itself,
hoping that I never live to see
our light become a memory.