You were the light of my eye. The proof and the reward of patience. You were my pride, the pearl of my redemption, my treasure. So quickly is that light extinguished and the eye left darkened. So swiftly is patience nullified and made into mockery. So simply, so without ceremony has the pearl become but a common stone, like fool's gold, a wealth that evaporates when tested and weighed. Ah, but love is love, as many have said. It is what it is. A whim? A passing thought? An entrepreneur slyly seeking the most lucrative deal? What is love? Is it like the skin that a snake has left behind, providing nouishment for the most inconsequential of insects? And, after all, the living thing has moved on. How many skins does a snake shed in a lifetime? I should know this. It is on the tip of my tongue. And yet, the answer itself would be but a word, and words have long since vacated their worth and left behind echoes in empty shells and grains of common sand.