Portrait of an Invisible Man

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.

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The Doe (after Arthur Sze)

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
June mist.

metamorphosis

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.

shedding skin

Hawk eyes survey a cobbled square, teeming with tamed shadows.
Café noir in manicured hands, harsh rays from a cumbersome sun
fall upon her cobra-skinned boots.  She shields indigo eyelids with
bejeweled twigs, blocking out  far-off orchards with all her might.
Expectant limbs howl out her name; their sickly offspring are her
birthmark.  Invisible to the passing eye, they have marked her for
life.

flickering in futility

Flickering in futility, eye light vanishes at last.
Lubricant long gone from musket’s length,
horror after horror has turned muscular men
into bawling boys.

Carmine comets, too numerous to count, rain
downwards until no consoling bullets remain.

An involuntary babysitter, bereft of his blanket,
tends a makeshift graveyard until buttress’ come.

Blessed Art Thou

A crimson tinted mouth smudges
comrade glasses beneath a buzz of
walking suits.  They talk only amongst
themselves, never to her.

Glittering gown masks avian limbs, a
former gazelle turned silent sidekick.
She is hopeless in her new-found role
and recites alphabetic antiphons, reaping
no harvest beside such diseased plantings,
yet brightly standing still, she will.