Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
B P Oct 2022
Do you remember

The steady chisel of rain upon the beach,

The hillocks of waves advancing,

And the brume swathing all things—

When the sun fell like a teardrop
from our sight?
For a friend who weathered a hurricane
B P Feb 2021
In the living room
You watch the candle burn beside the window,
Your eye fixed upon the black tether
Between the wax and the light.
A wick is a quiet clock,
And memory is a deep held breath
You cannot expire.
There is nothing beyond the glass
You wish to see,
And you would shut the blinds
But do not wish to move.
When a child dies, the world closes like a fist.
Apology becomes the fossil of promise.
You keep digging until you are sorry for everything,
And you keep lighting candles until a phoenix rises.
But it never does.
B P Jan 2021
On this day, a quotidian wind may carry the force of anger,
May lash out at the stoic trees which surrender only dying leaves,
An offering of dead letters falling in a farewell dance to meet the earth;
Jagged notes to touch the dust—that surely tell of sterile promises.

No matter the meadow he is still claustrophobic,
For everywhere there is too much of the world at once.
He parts a stalk of corn in a gleaming field
To hear and to remark upon the bees teeming inside,
Which would otherwise rest in the eyelids of wildflowers.
"You know," he thinks to himself, "we would not feast without the bees;
Where there are bees, so there is the cornucopia."
He speaks only to himself.

“It is now 12:00,” the well-dressed man interjects between the widow’s sobs.
“Would you like to take the flowers with you?”
Softly she turns a knuckle to her eye, effacing her tears.
“Yes. Yes, thank you,” she replies in a hushed voice.

—or shall we let bouquets chance the untold tide of darkness,
The cold, unforgiving colossus of night?
By morning they shall have withered completely
In the cool hospice of the soil.
And so we move on.

The undertaker sweeps beneath the grass and dirt
Not merely bodies, but our heap of hours.
With bodies also go the games and the houses of words we built
And lived in.
Now by landslide they slip into silent coffins.  
Let certain words be backwards-facing windows looking out upon the brink,
That singularity of past and now that ferries our tomorrows
On uncertain streams
Where our worlds do not grow taciturn.

It is now time to leave this place.
It has always been the time; that faceless phantom
That inhabits all things and makes all things sick and wish to die.
It is time.
A child’s eye shines upon you but is eclipsed.
An old friend whispers something like goodbye.
A stranger greets your shell and is amused.
A dark spate of moonlit oceans rises and falls upon a transient seedbed of memory.  
There where you were, so shall you return,
And nurtured and loved
And carved and posied and constellated.
Your form swells beyond the human meridian;
Ribbons of color spin about your head, decked in a halo of stars,
And the pulchritudinous lifelike light—
B P Dec 2020
“I could not flee from him,” he said,
“My eyes and cheeks were red with tears.

I know that it’s been many years,
But still I think of him sometimes.”

“But tears are not red,” I replied,
“Perhaps the blood painted your eyes.”

He walked across the bedroom floor
To watch the moon pour its white wine

Across the mountains and the pines,
And turned back to the open door.

“I never did escape his grip.
Sometimes I wonder if I had

What memory would look like now.”
I offered him a solemn quip.

“I’m sure we’d still be breaking bread—
With one less pair of bloodied eyes.”
B P Nov 2020
You ask, "What is an
Ocean to a universe?"
It is a teardrop.
B P Oct 2020
He exhales,
Seated at the patio table,
Musing on the eddies of his smoke.
In idleness he snuffs out the light of another cigarette
And measures his ashes before shuffling into the house to find the kitchen.
Just as he left it.
His hand flickers toward the black coffeepot
Of the early morning.
It is this lull before dawn that he chases
With all the sleeping fury of dreams,
And so turns the wheel of the day.
He may scowl at the clock,
Though some days he does not bother to look,
Or else he forgets.

Someone ought to tell him that the deserts are growing
By the minute, vast and full of sand—
Or that there is no terminus for the listing boat
That sails without helm beyond the horizon’s glittering mirage
On hulking oceans of devoured glaciers—
Or that the reaper’s scythe comes full circle once
And for all.

Children may spend years in a periphery,
Eyeing floorboards voiceless, floating like wisps up staircases,
Obscuring themselves in a hide-and-seek game of love,
Scouring the walls for answers to questions unasked,
That should have been.
I sent him a message before he passed, as he lay still:
“I hope this message reaches you,” it ended;
Words lost in a vacuum.
The thing about hope, he would have said,
Is that it makes a better door
Than a window.
B P Jul 2020
Somewhere off in the distant plumes of mountains,
Well beyond the verdant knolls and rural meadows
Of this broad and gentle countryside,
Down where the highway that peers the river
Collides softly with the city,
Your crystal lens discovers some bold new heart
That like a child’s toy gleams but an hour and departs.

The lens that tells apart the other men
Dispels the tender fiction of your touch,
For too much love must down the spillway run
And pluck away the feathers of the sun—
When in the earnest shade of senseless night
Where only firework provides a light—no!
We’ve learned to tread each other’s tortured lines,
That still for wasted, novel hours pine.
So here to sit and idle on the frame,
Another desperate tablet carved in vain.

There is no road that takes me back to you,
Nor dressing that could swathe this weeping wound.
Wild partitions do in shadows bloom,
And bloom they also in light of the sun,
And never cease till life is done.
Next page