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Fly home, to the bittersweet,
to the mill pond with the fuzzy water—
that thick green ****—or "scuzz" as you called it—
where the bullheads hid—
a can of corn could catch them;

I saw ghosts across in the cemetery—
visiting graves with their cold white orchids
and speaking of life like it passed already
on the old freight train that sometimes
crossed those bridges;

somewhere beyond, an old Native died—
at the end of his trail, not a song left to sing,
though now of course, he’s immortal, in bronze,
in his saddest pose,
on his darkest day;

in the center of town are the great prison walls,
a limestone reminder of who we are not,
and who, if we hated our gods, could become
in the blink of an eye—
in the absence of love;

and home is the smallest house on the street
near where our mothers made parts for the War,
and if I get the time, I ought to visit that place,
to fish in the pond—
and catch up with old ghosts.
Benjamin Feb 23
and just how far have you gone for the sake of your "camaraderie," my friend?

their half-glow hearts and prejudiced minds could have swallowed you whole,

or abandoned you, wit be-******, and genius be-******, you
might have died a pauper—

I hear they’d **** a man much more guarded than you, they might string him up,

tie his broken body to a fencepost, leave him ******,

satisfy a tyranny under the watchful eye of a loving God,

trade a boy in Laramie for a jet-black brutal odium,

**** a kid and wonder what his mother did to steer him wrong—

but still you wrote of calamus and of holding hands and handsome lovers,

still you gave us songs to sing back to our lovers, gentle songs,

despite the shame and censorship they cursed you with, despite

the threat that everything could be undone, despite the scripture,

well I must say, dear Good Gray Poet, before I fold my hand,

thank you, Walt, for giving us what you never had.
Benjamin Jan 30
Live off of last night’s
sugar rush street lights

ignore this hysteric
canary—the enemy

and tune in the tin-foiled
rabbit-eared radio—

we’ll dance to the broadcast
of our last night
on this Earth.
Benjamin Dec 2018
Packed in the back seat of
your cramped Chevy Lumina,
and parked on the frontage road
behind the conifers
in your backyard—

the moon is low, a jaundice yellow,
the car is stalled, the heater grumbled;
you pull me in to warm me up,
my glasses fog,
you steal my smile—

[Your father, for his Sunday sermon,
packed the house—Leviticus:
“’Their blood shall be upon them,’ and
all God’s children said?”
“Amen.”]

Our breath condensed, whisper-white,
traced our initials on the window—
in after-laughing afterglow,
you swallow, nervous,
before you kiss me.

We don’t let go, till cabin lights
illuminate your father’s form—
the verse, full force, the wrath of God,
a hurricane—
a Horrible.

I never saw you afterward,
poor pastor’s son, where have you gone?
Like Pyramus, at the sight of blood
on Thisbe’s veil—
we don’t prevail.
Benjamin Dec 2018
we cut the trees
and bleed the leaves,

and drink the wine
from Mother’s spine—

her fetal songs,
so lachrymose—

no ****** birth
could save this earth.
  Dec 2018 Benjamin
Sharon Talbot
The secret of love,
Of remaining together...
Is not what everyone supposes.
It is not always the bringing of gifts,
The candlelight dinners
Or bouquets of roses.
After the bloom is off
these loving flowers,
Irritations and troubles arise.
There are clashes
Over little things.
And lovers forget
The vows they made so easily,
Violating them with anger.
Old resentments from the past
Rise up to poison with enmity,
The nearness that will not last.
Those with wisdom shun these fights,
The sad agony of lonely nights,
Lying awake and wondering
If love still exists, or if one matters,
To the other, if one cares at all.
Over time, self-protection grows,
And the lover builds a rancorous wall
Where weeds choke sunlight from the rose
And the other cannot hurt you.
But the play still goes on,
Like a song that still repeats,
Over and over unnoticed.
And a pantomime of caring
Begins to form, with hollow smiles
And half-hearted promises.
The Rose now lists against the wall,
Pale and tamed, like a common plant,
A vegetable in a kitchen garden.
And lovers expect passion
From a dreary fruit like this?
But once in a thousand times,
Deep roots that began long ago,
Giving rise to the first flower of love,
Last beyond boredom, thirst and drought.
Thorns pierce their hearts through the wall,
Bringing tears of surprise and recall.
The lovers find after the rain:
They have what they have sought.
And that which they sought is all.

Summer 2018
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