Plato’s Cave

After I requested permissions,
and permissions were granted,
I set foot into the cave.

The darkness was swallowed
by heat and honey, aloe and chants
in indistinguishable,
unwritten (yet familiar) languages–
We spoke in tongues
with soft, brittle edges
burned with embers
from the fire
we circled.
There were four languages
we understood
and we communicated with four.

HE asked, Why are you here?

Darkness shielded our identities.
We were merely voices
in the nothingness.
The heat exhausted our shame.

She said, I grieve over an abortion from years ago.
He said, I grieve for a divorce and loss of child. 
He said, I grieve over a loss of a job and I can’t support my family.
She said, I heard about you and thought it would be cool.

There was momentary silence. Silence resurrected shame.

She said, I’m just not happy in this lifetime or this lifeform. 
She said, I’m looking for insight. 
I said, Plato invited me. He said I should come.

HE said, Struggles are not unique. Struggles are recycled. You are not alone.

We were not alone.
Shadows took form–
Forms of babies with umbilical cords
attached to burning embers
emerging from the fire
growing to full adulthood
before us.

Shadows took form–
Forms of poor decisions
and addictions
in human form
we individually created
attempting to devour
us face first.

We fought. We raged.
We apologized
to the ancestors and earth;
We apologized for
losing connection
with the connected.

The Shadows left.

Light entered the cave
like a beam of sin
trying to sneak in
and the embers dissipated.

HE said, “If you need to stay longer, stay. But once you leave, do not look back.”


About Stephen Earley Jordan II

Author of "Beyond Bougie", "Cold, Black, and Hungry" and many other books.
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