Last night, after I had lain down, I lied.
I sat, saturnine, basking in incandescent rays
Which impinged upon the back of my eyelids
Like the warmth of her smile.
I lay in the miry blankets and in myself,
Allowing the weight of my mind to wisp away
With slender traces of white smoke.
The room dissolved around me with the bar beneath my tongue.
Three years had passed since the last time I was truly happy,
But, still, I laughed. If only for a moment,
I had found a place where quotidian pressures couldn’t follow.
Unfortunately, it was only a moment before a thought occurred:
None of this is real.
Or, perhaps, this was the only part of my life that was real,
That is real.
Maybe the scripted days spent toiling away
Behind the particle-board walls of my cubicle are the dream—
A recurring nightmare.
Each morning as the dew slowly builds up
And gently tumbles down my bedroom window pane,
I wake to find you slipping away. The summer
Shade has robbed your leaves of green,
And I can but watch you wilt and lilt into the grave.
These past two weeks have felt like dreams
That fade in and out of each other during the throes
Of my unending sleep, but I know that this desire
To paint your petals the dark red of your youth
Would only make me mad like the hatter.
Our queen, however, did change her surroundings
As she saw fit, and with, or without, a second thought
She shaped the whole of her kingdom into an arid oasis
Of thought and fancy; a land where lives the Jabberwocky.
So as I dive down this rabbit hole, I do not fear
What I might find below.
Instead I save my anxieties for what is known,
Like that one day you will no longer be my rose,
But a pile of memories about my bed.
An early bloom has split the air
With the subtle scent of azalea
And jessamine, the fragrance
Of a youth lost
Between the vines of honeysuckle
That suffocated the boardwalk.
I remember the night we last
Sat together beneath the summer sky,
And the purple torrents that crept,
Like death, ever closer.
We used to watch them and wonder
If the drops would reach out to kiss
Our troubled heads, or if the wind
Would blow them south to Savannah
Like lost balloons.
And when we walked out
Onto the dock to watch the reds swirl
Just beneath the salt marsh skin,
We saw Hydra rise to the surface
And swallow the day as easily
As time swallows an instant.
But the dark never bothered you-
No, you seemed to prefer it,
At least to the flashes of lightning
That oft slipped between the evening clouds.
But this winter bloom, soon, will fade
Leaving nothing left for May,
And only these memories of life
And love will last.
Have you seen the flash of green
That sits above the setting sun?
It fades away like every dream
That ends before it has begun.
But every night the sacred light
Returns again to speak to me,
And every night, the sacred light,
Reminds me of how things should be.
We all should laugh, or have a gaff,
At the day and what was done
And every grain of blessed pain
Should fade away with her, the sun.
But as the stars begin to shine
Above the murky atmosphere,
Our thoughts begin to turn to time
And how the end is almost here.
So grab your lass and fill your glass
And drink away the night with her,
If time should pass, as in the past,
At least you’ll spend the last with her.
Lately, I've noticed how light lingers,
Like sound caught in empty space,
Above the dim horizon long after the sun has set.
And as it dances in the wind with dark clouds that hang
Like morbid thoughts above the Earth,
I can't help but yearn to see my sun again
If only for an instant.
I fear the truth-
That when these last traces of her have faded from the sky
I will be resigned to wander and weather
This, my final winter, without her in the dark.
And should I look up and see the stars,
I may admire their beauty, but I will know it not real.
For they are only shadows of her,
Whose light only reminds me of the love I've lost,
And they could never be enough to illume my life.
So as I sit alone at dusk
And watch the world fade into night,
I wish that I could see my sun,
I wish that I could make things right.
Tired branches of an old oak loom
Like torrential clouds—
Those distal bruises on the peach
Sky of May— above as we
Wait and watch the dust lilt away
In the breeze. I would envy their freedom,
But I see that they are only vassals
Whose lord, the wind, guides them like marionettes.
Stars split about the twigs and leaves
To lick our eyelids.
You hesitated as you asked if I heard them too,
But my ears were filled with Carolina wind.
You knew I had lied before I spoke.
Still, you told me their stories as if they were your own,
Or maybe they are your own.
Now, I slip back to that night for an instant
When I close my eyes beneath the old oak,
Only to open them and find orbital songs
Written in black between the seven sisters.
White raveled feathers lie
Scattered about broken wings
Which sweat bluer than blood,
And distal eyes sit low in their sockets
With an air of indifference that I admire.
How can you remain so calm
As the life slips out of your breath?
I expect you don't know,
That nothing can be known,
But as your neck snaps between my fingers,
Like a twig beneath my boot,
I wonder whether it's right-
And what is right?
And do trees grow up or do they run from the sun,
Deep into the ground for fear of smoldering?
I cannot trust what I've been shown,
For my eyes fail,
But I have confidence in the sounds I see painted about me,
A cacophony of blues, greens, and greys,
Every color from Pissarro's palette
Or Picasso's dreams.