Mara, interestingly enough, is a name that “originates” in many cultures. Mara is a demon in Buddhist cosmology. It is Sanskrit, German, Norse, Slavic. The Old English is Mare. Whatever the origin, the name is that of an evil demon who has been represented in stories, legends, and art around the globe. The world nightmare comes from night Mare, because The Mara are those that bring those horrible visions of the night.


the nightmare henry fuseli
Henry Fuseli’s The Nightmare

It started like any love story.

Boy meets girl.
He spends years doting on her.
He picks her magnolias on walks, writes her secret love poems about the way her eyes look like sunsets, the way her long, wavy hair looks like honey in the sun. Just to have the skin of her fingertips graze the back of his hand, the miniscule bolts of electricity that connected them for those moments.
How he loved her.
When she looked at him, really noticed him back for one moment, he felt alive.

Then there were the nights.
She would sneak in through his window near 3am, hover over the side of the bed until he woke and mount him. She’d ride him like the zephyr’s antonym and drench him with her sweet sweat, her golden waves whipping his face and chest.
It was marvelous.
Until it wasn’t.

He wanted more.
She refused.
He wanted to be with her day and night.
She stopped accepting his letters, his poems, their daisies. She stopped looking his way on the street.
Everything stopped,
except her fleeting witching hour visits. Even then, she was barely there.

He felt like a flying squirrel trying to read a map in winter, or some other winged-beast trying to tame some thing out of its reality.

He wanted to lock his window, lock her out… or in.

One night he put a little “something” on the edge of the windowsill.
As she crawled inside, it scraped up her fingers and knees. She said nothing. They continued like any other night.
Except, she did not leave.
As her body glistened, she collapsed on top of him. He hugged her close and kissed her too fuscia lips. He had yearned for that so long. It did not matter that her lungs no longer took in air and she could sigh no more. It was all he ever wanted.
She was finally his, like he was hers.

He kept her under his bed for over a month.
Each night, he’d pull her out and mount her.
When his weight finally broke her into pieces he could no longer collage together,
he took her to the forest and buried her under the twisted trees where she belonged, the place said to have been made by the other night Mares, the Mara who haunt the dreams of men until they’ve been driven straight out of their minds.

When the wind blows just right,
I can still smell her sweet, putrid flesh at night like drops of rain, or maybe tears, fallen on our white magnolia petals, somehow neither’s fragrance tarnished by death or time.
I stand at my window now waiting for it, for her
to return to me.
I breathe deep for
my love
not unrequited.

mara buddha


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