I can feel that button pressing—
my life resetting.
Though you left me,
I will carry the echoes
of the things I thought
I loved about you,
whether or not true.
I will cherish
the ghost coins
that disappear
in my hands,
leaving me broke
and grasping.
Why? To my mind,
they are as real
as the desert hill's sunshine
or the iced land's snow
and I can't imagine
this 8-bit life
without those.

Who would I be
if I let this battle
make me as bitter
and damaged as you?
Some would say
that you'd have won.
I would say
we'd both have lost.
This is only a game
and there's no glory
no matter how
it turns out now.
The system is obsolete
and the cartridge is
lost in a trash heap.
Only memories,
only memories.

The best that I can do
is to play the sequels
exactly as they come,
whether with friends
or happily alone—
whether with pink wings
or swimming down below.
I'll look for
the moments—
the memories—
not the score.
And if I save the princess,
this time I'll love her more.

Decades on,
the boss is inconsequential.
It really is about the journey.
One day I may even realize
that I am the hero, villain, and victim—
the programmer and the creative director.
Not narcissistically, but truthfully,
in hindsight it comes down
to loving me
in pixels, in 3D, or in reality.

Alchemists - a love poem

Alchemists - a love poem

Haiku: Gardens of Dreams