before the sun

hot streaming tears of Job ground as fine as
stardust cloud a discolored cup, constructing
a dusky cosmos fashioned from the anguish
of almonds

before the sun, thy broken body
shall be healed

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Five For My Eye: IV

Our Lady lights the way
as
shift is done, but before
the fun, four flagging
feet round the
corner and
stop under a streetlamp
for a smoke of
salvation.

Is that her apple
in my pocket?

Face to chin under a
shorn Pegasus,
heels scrape down
on cold curb in front of
the obsidian twin who
prowls nearby.

Fingertips graze
tough red skin

Damp bodies huddled
in doorways and
ecstasy hold down
the
night with hot
sloppy kisses; without
them this street would
vanish – but this is
only
conjecture.

Sweetness rolls over
parched lips.

What crime shall
come
to this place
when souls of
the city can
barely stand?

————–

This is the fourth installment in a series of five poems inspired by the photography of Constantine Brassaï.

Wash Day

That blanket that spins in the drum
bears secrets that only my lips
are longing for.  As the washer hums
and grunts, the lavender strips
of cloth underneath my fingers sigh
when the brush strikes them with fury.
He chose to sidestep these empty eyes.
Now I stand, blanketed in worry.

———–

edited after initial posting

Left Behind

Flowing through the
thickest water to get
back home.
stone by stone
head by head
The conductor says
that
I’ve been left behind.
At least I saw her smile.

Do you know what the
slap of stale breath
against cotton at 4:18
in the morning sounds
like?

12 hours of parceled sighs
packed and planned in
a head
so full of nothing that
it would make you scream
to the sky for the offense
of it all.

Sleep was never the answer.

…a journey deferred…

I spy your gospel lurking by the strand
as silver slides against a velvet purse.
Are answers docking nigh this fallow land?

Before us lies a large imposing hearse.
Instead of rolling onto distant slopes,
it starts towards me, sobbing wordless verse.

It pulls upon my skin with battered ropes
but somehow fingers fend off fruitless fear,
allowing breath to flood back with my hopes.

The heated gates behind us slam and sneer.
Then, silence falls atop cold faces still
distraught by echoes howling far and near.

When springtide comes to this uncomely hill
my heart will welcome Charon’s transparent will.