Armor of Innocence

He could tell by the way her face lit up each time she smiled which was often that there was joy and passion and a lust for life still pulsing inside her battered heart. This occurred with each breath out as if it were the face she showed the world. Yet with each breath in as her face relaxed he saw the miles of bad road she’d traveled set deep inside the crevices around her gentle mouth. He thought the rhythmic in and out breathing that changed her face was the war she was fighting with herself just like some of the hold outs he knew who had yet to give up on that youthful hope of innocence.

In his youth he sought the faces in the crowd that met his as they passed on the street with a knowing grin as if they shared a universal secret that it would all, despite the wounds, come right; to share the opening wonder of tomorrow. But he avoided most of the faces he saw now since he always saw in them the resignation masks of having given up on innocence; some had buried it altogether; while a rare few held on and hid the innocence behind a self-made barricade of armor built over years and decades of living in war zones crafted in battles of hearts and minds.

Back in his days of wonderment when he met those joyful faces searching for challenge in every moment from fellow travelers not concerned with where they had been but with where we were all going were all but gone now save the few exceptions and he wistfully wondered if he’d ever see that kind of camaraderie again. We were all fresh and clean and crisp of heart then and now all of us were like used cars. Was that ultimate aphrodisiac reserved only for youth? Was it true that with each piece of knowledge we lost a piece of innocence never to be recaptured again? He left her there in the rain and he thought about this as he drove back from where he’d come; avoiding the faces in the crowd.



About circusinpurgatory
Nick Masesso Jr’s fictionalized short stories, poetry and prose have been published in the Starry Night Review, Elegant Thorn Review, Language and and Vagabond Press; the Battered Suitcase. His latest book “Armor of Innocence” and first book “Walking the Midway in Purgatory, a Journal” are available on-line and through bookstores.

2 Responses to Armor of Innocence

  1. Reblogged this on Nick Masesso, Jr..

  2. Written from the depths of the soul. Yes, is the answer. Youth is eternal in remembrance.

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