Twilight: bittersweet. Sweaty from work, and in the cold, I shiver under a cotton-candy sky. Is it so much to ask for validity? Is it too much to ask for brick and mortar? I’ve been trying to build a church out of my many failures and one feeble success. Is there no cornerstone here that I may lay a foundation and watch the blackbirds settle under my steeple? I: the patron saint of migrations and chapped knuckles. I: the purveyor of silence who takes wage in the form of holes. Holes I still cannot fill. I: drowning in debt within a society I never asked to claim me. I work at a gas station. My education has gotten me nowhere. I reorder words into lies in hopes I name a bigger truth. My one success? I’m still here, barely; still breath and flesh and jagged tooth.
I HEARD the old, old men say,
And one by one we drop away."
They had hands like claws, and their knees
Were twisted like the old thorn-trees
By the waters.
I heard the old, old men say,
"All that's beautiful drifts away
Like the waters."
On a porch swing that creaks
in the likeness of ancient knees,
I think about the last time we kissed,
how it felt
so much like losing a tooth.
The moon smiles crooked, slanted,
a tilted guillotine
scarring the darkness to blur
the trees that rustle like fluid opals,
fluttering like thousands of white flags.
I was broken before you found me,
a rusted hinge stuck half open
letting anyone trespass. I imagine
you walking up the drive
in your lacey, white blouse:
a ghost of Alice lost in the madhouse
of a world fully armed by spades,
all pointed like a thousand fingers
at your collarbone. You would have
gladly bore their nick for me.
The moon is the Cheshire cat, questioning
why I imagine such things.
A dog barks at nothing down the block.
A rabbit’s outline slinks into a gutter.
Am I crazy to have loved you and sever us?
The moon blinks. We’re all mad here, I think.
A wound is a well
save that a well can be full;
a wound just empties.
To love is to bleed
delicate: a maroon flow.
One can love too much.
Every time I think
about how she’s not here, not
lying next to me
the sutures are loosened: as soft
as unearthed marrow.
No amount of milk, honey,
can heal the hair-thin
fault line in the core of me:
the best medicine
is our bright laughter.
A pair of wind-chimes letting
breeze cast its blessing.
The good news: she cares
enough to call me by name,
a sufficient grace.
The bad news: a wound
will sometimes reopen, and
will consume me should
I not allow light to trespass.
A wound is a well
but, unlike a well, remains
after it is dry.
I fancied burning;
nursed charred fingertips
from placing them between.
lips. I enjoyed love warm.
Love was easier
to kindle with friction
under sheets pre-lit,
shaped by body-heat.
Somewhere, an oasis
is brushing her hair,
is rippling with light,
lush with a fleeting smile.
I found her in autumn
laughing like a creek.
Her hair the color
of poplar leaves afloat.
She, restless, cascading
away and sometimes
over me, cannot
be contained readily.
My other lovers:
they were forest fires,
were all holocausts
filled with sharp facets.
An oasis is still sharp
to the taste. Her kiss
smooth: I can feel it
douse memories of cinders:
her eyes turn soft with mist
within my scorched daydreams.
Wrote this for a friend/lover.
you were the lacunar bolt the part
of a life spent wishing on stars
if stars had ever granted anything but light
chatoyant the yellow pilot lamp
down the street trembles weakly
wanting to burn out it flickers like a sun
struggling long past its expiration date
I was an absquatulate scholar
of wrinkled bedsheets and the way
the light ineffable shone around us
as though we were the ******* center of it all
a slow-motion salvation is better
than instant gratification behind words
like I believe I can’t accept this
I will give you back
your left behind particulars: your lingerie
your photographs the calligraphy in your letters
the blanket I have slept under for three years
dreaming you might give me back the ring
I willfully saved for you in the abditory
between these walls I was building
for us broken promises refract sanguine light
and shape future homes into abandonment