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VII. mitosis

i...
i love him
and i will pay with fire and brimstone
maybe i’ll realize
that the plot arc of my life
doesn’t really make any sense anymore
that i don’t know where i’m going
(i never really did)
and i’m falling i’m ******* falling

the potter's wheel lays in disuse
the clay has cracked
much like ourselves
crazed in the heat of our crucible
the teacups are but shards
and no golden lacquer remains
to mend, to smooth sharp edges

we cherish things until
we can replace them

"fragile, handle with care"
i didn’t test in an inconspicuous spot
i didn’t reset to factory default
i didn’t come assembled
but i didn’t come broken either

we were dealt the cards before
we even knew we were players

and i cry for innocence had,
and innocence lost
innocence misplaced,
and innocence taken

my nightmares lathered
in sterile surgeon cyan
after all, we lobotomized machines
could never feel

what pleasures lie,
in those frosty windowed wards!
arched backs, bucked hips
gossamer cauls of flesh unwillingly broken
bulimic hearts, skinny love
i need not drink but the viscous
milken nectar of our lust
what pleasure, achilles!
what pleasure?

what pleasure is there in
the supplication of sutured flesh?
iphigenia, astynome...briseis—
flesh blemished, removed, replaced
housing haunted souls

heracles, phaethon, oedipus, icarus...
are we too consigned to eternal song,
that bitter deathless death,
like our tragic forbearers?
our glory, our hamartia
lies only in our love, philtatos

when wisdom brings no profit
to be wise is to suffer

the proud will be humbled
and the humble will be exalted

quell your arrogance
mitotic spindle

my name means glory to the father
and i am the prodigal son

all is equal in the chaotic omniscience
of mitosis, of death, of entropy, of war

we? we are indivisible.
IX. cathedral

i am human
i am young and stupid
unusual, tragic, and alive
and this is my penance

you are not mine
to keep, to touch, to hold, to love
i will smile when i want to cry in your arms
and i will laugh when i want to scream
i will be content and happy
everything you gift me
will burn as incense, fragrant within
the cathedral of my heart of hearts

till roses bloom within these lungs
and the incense begins to choke
my minutes, hours, days
they are all yours

i only ask that you don't
drop this heart of mine;
appraise it, dust it off, and
replace it in an unsuspecting alcove
for in its fragility, it has been
broken time and time again
and i'm not sure i have it
in me to mend it once more

addiction
speed
immoral
ecstasy
in the
continuum
of
risk, reward, and rheum
everywhere
there is only You
and i...

am but shattered abstractions
fractured glass
in a mosaic beyond
but i will love You
in the only way i know:
wholly, in life and in death,
always and forevermore

goodbye and farewell,
my darling achilles.
to risk and rheum: the temple smoke consecrates all as the delphic oracle heralds fate.

~ILIAD~
this series, inspired by the greek epic of the same name attributed to homer and madeline miller's "song of achilles", is a narrative of my life, short as it may be. i [attempt] to explore everything from race to sexuality, to friendships and reconciliation. i hope you take something from this. you can read in whichever order you like, as a series or as standalones.
VI. deidameia's danse macabre

we are sick, deidameia
till the end of our days
we are sick with mortality

we are the ants on the pale blue dot
alone in our fruitless toil
we are a godless generation
feigning synthetic emotion
philosophies oh so fragile
dogmatic pins pushed into
unsuspecting cloth dolls

i'm right
you're wrong
i'm lonely

but right now
we stand at the crossroads
of destiny
a former self behind
a well-trodden path ahead

we find nirvana
as the clock strikes thirteen

when my eyes close
i taste oblivion and holocaust
so we dance on the edge
round and around we go
the pauper child, the holy man,
the king, the tiller of the fields:

so you sow, so shall you reap

the dice are cast
the cards are dealt
the matches are lit

this soul has been aching
to burn once again
douse me with kerosene
light me up like
cigarettes to cellophane
choke back the embers
we live on the smoke

i'll hate you till my lungs give out
i'll love you till my body's dust

i've won the world
and all her pearls
i've got the world
except you
to not-friends and not-enemies: to strangers with memories and souls lost.

inspired by the "all for the game" trilogy by nora sakavic,, sofia moulton's cover of the song "broadripple is burning", and "the world and all her pearls" by isaac dunbar. dedicated to an ansha, a zara, and a brian.

~ILIAD~
this series, inspired by the greek epic of the same name attributed to homer and madeline miller's "song of achilles", is a narrative of my life, short as it may be. i [attempt] to explore everything from race to sexuality, to friendships and reconciliation. i hope you take something from this. you can read in whichever order you like, as a series or as standalones.
IV. dawning at the sanctum

We were arms and legs,
ruffled pillows and
twisted blankets
bare writhing bodies
reflected in a warped carnival mirror
glowing embers of a fallen star
Your strokes
tentative and wavering
in an unsteady tremolo

find me where the shy dawn
dare caress the black crystal waters
that sparkled so green
amidst cold oceans of metaphor
and warm, streaky peach jam skies

gift me, make me, break me, grant me
may i find nourishment and sustenance
in suckling the dripping honey
from your velvet rose-tinted lips
slake Your thirst
sate Your hunger
drink from these fountains
and eat from these briars
revel in my sanctum
but let no blessed water
pass my parched lips

i will etch soliloquies into the nape of your neck
i, the calligrapher, you my masterpiece
monet's soleil levant and water lilies
botticelli's map of hell and rorshach blots
i will find god in your twinkling sepia eyes
and repose in the contours of your body
chiseled with conviction bold
i will trace lines traced long ago
and discover you anew
lilting auroras behind these tired eyelids
sweet aubades of clotted maple cream
embroidered into the
buttery cashmere shearling
of Your lush being
knotted, blistering lilac and rose
in this churning ****** sea
of flames and sculpted ice

bold sensual soft
caress but never kiss
it's five a.m.
and i still can't sleep
we're out of time
there's no stopping what's to come
but the taste of jasmine white tea
still lingers on my tongue
i'm still shouting to the void
and playing piano in the brazen dark
to small but certain happiness: tickling mountain air and sticky nights on the beaches.

inspired by "the starless sea" by erin morgenstern.

~ILIAD~
this series, inspired by the greek epic of the same name attributed to homer and madeline miller's "song of achilles", is a narrative of my life, short as it may be. i [attempt] to explore everything from race to sexuality, to friendships and reconciliation. i hope you take something from this. you can read in whichever order you like, as a series or as standalones.
III. clay feet

the metal nightingales
chirp their heralding serenatas
realizing every lucid daydream
and smelting away every plastic
contingency

to part the molten
gold in Your eyes
is to tempt Fate
but you are Achilles
and i am your patroclus
i will lay down my pride, my life,
every ounce of my being
for You

You shall sit atop pedestals
adorned with bas relief acanthus
conquest and compassion
life and death
ashes to ashes, dust to dust
i will exalt You and Your pride
and wash Your clay feet

You are my first musing
in the morning
and final contemplation
at night
twice and three years
of abstinence
make my body whole and clean
to the heroes, of antiquity and of today: we know only mortality and glory, and i fear for his naivete.

~ILIAD~
this series, inspired by the greek epic of the same name attributed to homer and madeline miller's "song of achilles", is a narrative of my life, short as it may be. i [attempt] to explore everything from race to sexuality, to friendships and reconciliation. i hope you take something from this. you can read in whichever order you like, as a series or as standalones.
II. alpenglow

hushed white
first snow's plush
duvet

inimitable beauty
euphoria
in the florid incandescence
infinitely faceted fractals
a conflagration:
fire on the mountaintop,
oh, these halos in the umbra—
roving alpenglow

paper birch
trembling aspen
bent by sheer roiling passion
into a piazza passageway
leading to Our
cloistered
crystal
kingdom
come

an icy, sharp chemical-like hint
of taste lingers
at the back of my throat
a steady stream of
tears cascading down
my face

i lie on the fallen down,
a snowy duvet under a yielding sun
that gifts the little light and warmth it can

crackling paris green
and steaming water
She does not watch us here

Our breath is one and the same
why are your hands so cold?
You whisper
my beloved philtatos,
they are but a mark
of the rites of passage we endured
and a youth idealized

understand
that i am a worn letter lost
burnished ink that once clung
to a burnished nib
on deckle-edge ecru paper
embossed with gold and filigree
do you dare to open me?
to fire on the mountaintops: for the hearth on chiron's pelion smolders always.

inspired by the breathtaking scenery of alberta, canada.

~ILIAD~
this series, inspired by the greek epic of the same name attributed to homer and madeline miller's "song of achilles", is a narrative of my life, short as it may be. i [attempt] to explore everything from race to sexuality, to friendships and reconciliation. i hope you take something from this. you can read in whichever order you like, as a series or as standalones.
I. quinine and honey

His fight and fierceness
are unrivaled
inviting
like the solace of sleep
to the freezing

addiction, dependence, provocation
i’m washed in the tide
of His everlasting breath
plunging out in rimy clouds
he reached out
and thawed me,
hands interlaced
if only for a moment

i take in His body,
the unleavened bread:
delicate, diaphanous
caramel skin
dappled with freckles
stretched taut over a
light but athletic frame

doused with
mulled wine
an earthy sweet redolence
of spice, sour cherry,
fruit and florals,
smoke, and amber resin

reminders of those cold,
firelit winter nights
flannel button-up pajamas
rosy cheeks and cracked, swollen lips
strong pourover coffee and
steaming jasmine white tea
at five in the morning
when i would shiver
and He would hold me tighter
we were so happy we were afraid

i run my fingers
through His silken
sun-softened sable hair

His heart, however,
holds sentiment
incomparable to my votive
there is only Him

sometimes
even the quinine
finds itself too bitter
that it may yearn for
honey
to drown
it
to honey: so that the last taste after the bitter journey is always sweet.

~ILIAD~
this series, inspired by the greek epic of the same name attributed to homer and madeline miller's "song of achilles", is a narrative of my life, short as it may be. i [attempt] to explore everything from race to sexuality, to friendships and reconciliation. i hope you take something from this. you can read in whichever order you like, as a series or as standalones.
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