He had long ago accepted the loss as permanent,
but that acceptance was merely a gloss, as yet skin deep,
not yet having bled into the very marrow of his being,
nor led him to that place of serenity.
His bitterness lay as deep as the roots of cedar in shale,
following tracks as distant and serpentine as the staged attacks
of hackers working their miraculous juju through the internet ether,
and forever ending in a sad soiled grace.
And, though he could choose to confuse his loneliness with tragedy –
as if he were the sainted prophet of his own persecuted
exarchate in exile — it was but loneliness nonetheless,
and it hurt just as bad as the arrows of martyrdom.