Then, now

My heart, back then,

broke easily.

Now there is nothing to break

but my back,

and I will not give them that.

You expect this shit from me,

the quiet resignation, the aimless supplication.

What was once alphabet soup

is now just soup.

This, my predawn saunter,

a wander between the shapes of the room,

drawn circles and squares of clumsy geography:

the rough red chimney bricks, the melted candle bits.

What was true will probably stay true.

All those strangers

caught between plexiglass picture frames

keep staring.

It is the tedium of long memories;

the space between then and now

must mean something

to someone by now.

Advertisements

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.

Honor

call me old-fashioned

A perpetual yesterday dressed in ash;

grief, do not whisper but lay hard upon my breast, 

and ache, yes, as I reach for my faith.

Death’s sore words are set upon the tongue, but keep her, Lord,

for mercy, yes, and love.

***

In honor of my mother, who unexpectedly passed April 14/18. And I, in another country, mourn her.

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.

Rest

Torrent of blood charges the veins

loudly hungry meekly sated

Breathe.

Pulsing wet cheeks, a deliberate choir

of noise from dry-throated angels

Sing.

Sculpt the air with restless fingers

praise and damn with swollen motions

Rest.

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.

November

Our November flesh bows

to the wind, we are reflected in a darker light.

Soft resilience of bone and temperament, the

ice bears down and the blankets pile high and you

reach for me for warmth and I will give you

what is left.

Moment

mment

The bridge of each moment, still. Glass fragments of breath, of dance, of rest. The silence of fingertips and brief kisses, the warmth of mercy, a peaceable light. The moment, now, and the next begins.