fade

Goddamn your hallucinations. I walked into your room, and fell into your bed. My hands reached, you faded. You were here, I can’t feel you anymore. We used to pull in the same suckable cigarette air, and kiss the same fuckable skin. Goddamn your hallucinations, let me stop being one.

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The yellow-leafed tree

The veil between dreams

My eyes abide the blighted light
of the yellow-leafed tree.
Please set my stone here
and let us both rest.
But please stop and listen —
I know you can hear it,
the grief in my spirit,

and you see the fraying of my days,
my finite breaths
fading away.

I still lean into old memories,
away from you,
away from who
I wanted to be.

I did not expect to be loved so well.

The hemlocks

Forty years on,

she follows the path of his ghost,

a slender and thorned road

that leads to a ruined ecstasy.

Above the carpeted dirt,

she remembers the boy’s twitching mouth,

so unaccustomed to casual pleasure,

and the slow burn of tobacco between them.

The last of the afternoon light

dripped between the hemlocks

and fell upon bare shoulders.

And she, alone, still wonders

if he ever smelled the gunpowder.

Well acquainted

The o’seer of pain dresses in white, his fingers adorned with thorn’d rings, a garland of roses loose around his throat, and he teases a kiss of mercy. Well acquainted, he and I, with his mark purposed to tissue and bone. Look upon him close and his robe is stained, his stance unshamed, his hands filthy from his forge.

Martians

This might as well be Mars, scarred and unrepentant, too distant to glow in heaven. 
Our monuments to youth built with hurried hands, then toppled, then covered with sand.
Do you recall the worth of compassion, of rejoicing in our slaked passion?
No more, we say, no more. 
And so we study upon the sky with our vainglorious trickster eyes, 
our wisdom in cushioned layers, hurling shrill and jagged prayers,
 standing alone, bare and barren, 
with pleasures unfulfilled, and more monuments to build.