Obedient rows of tiny white cherries sail
in a violet sea; I can see the fabric of her
dress, but not her face.
Never her face.
The length of her hair changes, sometimes
curly, sometimes straight or wavy, yet always
a gingerbread brown.
In the distance, almost within reach, she slumbers
deeply, waiting to be born.
The weight of those black keys in this palm-sized bingata
pouch never amounted to very much, yet they opened
worlds more abundant than Witwatersrand.
Gazing at such delicate flowers, dyed in orchid and amethyst,
our all-too-short afternoons waltz upon my mind; I smile at the
memory of the blithe and innocent spirit that you so lovingly
shared with me.
An empty floral pouch, coconut and pear lip balm (only used once),
Band-Aids (only used twice), antibacterial hand wipes, and alcohol
prep pads – fragments of a broken bond, bespoken by no one.
Limber limbs suspended in time – such grace is revelation.
Acutely aware of all the wonder that surrounds us,
my mind willingly turns inward.
Everything and everyone – stranger and citizen alike – is poetry.
epic narratives, only known by a select few,
or possibly by thousands who worship in earnest.
Even with vats of black plashes,
I cannot record them all.
My ink will run dry
and my memory banks shall prove insufficient.
It would prove to be a risible endeavor.
And yet, I ache for the loss,
with no anodyne in sight.
Knee-deep in obscurity, a man of indeterminate middle age wearing
a mustard-colored mackintosh stands poised to answer the front door.
He’s politely swiped matchbooks from almost every bar that he’s been to.
Bewildered by orchards of anxiety, he builds bridges of sticks, one chain
at a time, whirling each piece between his thumb and forefinger before
setting it in place.
In a massacre of time and good taste, the man sips on his seventh
cup of instant coffee in two hours. Brimming with unease, jittery
hands make lilting loops in the morning light,
His jeans once belonged to another man and it
shows in the vacant spaces where flesh should be.
The desire to turn over a new leaf has given way
to staring contests with a peeling radiator.
Debits and credits meander through a sotted and swollen
mind until red blankets each and every boulevard.
The arithmetic of our choices adds up perfectly, so
much so, that we can’t bear to face the ledger.
In a round, nut brown serving plate, a half-eaten baguette
sits stale and useless, hardened to all who enter.
The river was rosy at dawn.
I saw a doe, stopped
in the water.
And when the doe walked, modest waves
flowed from behind her. I was
a statue then. And sensed
the doe hesitate. And at dusk, dozing,
the river was amber in the
A tailor labors by candlelight,
gold rimmed glasses slipping
down his rosy nose. Outside,
wet snow bleeds from burnt sky.
Threadbare fingers, frail but firm,
feel fat folds of velvet while
discolored eyes glance at the mantle,
resenting those two brass hands,
those tyrannical sentries of old,
that won’t let him sleep.
Resignation sounds around you, rising up
from an exasperated earth, freezing fear
into languishing lips.
Gentle tremors rock a riven heart to sleep:
troubled lullabies from the other side.
Slipping off the costume once again,
you become a sweet creature of dreams.
The common body, buried beneath
a flimsy gauze of naught, is shared with
no one save the Devil.
Slipping off the costume once again,
you become a hellion of horrors.
What is revealed?
The darkest parts that have no shame.
What is concealed?
The golden parts that have no aim.
Drowsy pigeons peck at puddles of crumbs as
emaciated ravens console wavering widows.
Cadavers flown home on thrones of hushed
bones dream of nothing new, evermore.