LOST BEHIND

The candles were out

I couldn’t figure it out

what I’d done to be alone in the dark

on a table set for two but hosting one

The candles are out, I still don’t think I deserve to be by myself, like a racehorse running for the finish – euphoric – trained to do this, of course—it can’t remember unseating a jockey, it feels like victory because the horse doesn’t know the aim of the game: don’t pass the post alone.

Now, I’m scrolling back through thoughts and text, with wine and cheese and bread, accompaniments, a wholesome trinity for taking the mind to the affinity of taste buds and off memories and the presently, who scorch me like a rider’s whip if I go near ’em.

All churches smell like this, the smoke from blown-out candle wicks

the same smell that imprints itself to birthday wishes

If it was amber and warm, now it’s crusty and cold,

hard to see through the settled wax that folds my lids, as for being forgot I never did wish

This plain table becometh an altar, for breaking bread and heart, singular

Not worshiping but questioning; belief in man and love and all things nestled with

dreams of a life, the only purpose of a species desperate-to-love,

Why is everyone desperate to leave?

So much so, they don’t even arrive

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FLAMES IN OBSERVATION

Bare with the burning fields,

help paw at wildfires

when a neighbour’s garden burns give a hand

or your arm will flare.

Anchor any drifting comfort with an upstanding easel

placed adjacent to the best lit window

and there; paint on with watercolour

blood and flames shining, reckless

might redden the portrait’s body

so open her up to the landscape

darkness starts in light

as the belligerence of nations might

while water waits to cool flouncing-fearless foreheads

behind the screens of a perfect life all hell sags

tar is adhesive, magma a welcome mat for the fleeting

titanic gates to inferno are at aperture

don’t hide eyes with blinking veils

for a fuse slithers silent

creeping up behind us, our ignorance

AVANT-GARDEN

Elicit gift of a garden brush

a vesicular heel of over-handled wood,

obsolete without working hands looped

because I’m busy tying knots in the trellis’ rope

for when in bloom

they hold me ope’

Rise then, off-pink Clematis shoot

a street of archers ready to loosen ‘rows,

buds hold patient like hoods to heads

—butterflies—and—bees—pry—

at hedge level height from an ant

the same distance of sky

from the hull of a plane and I

RED SEA

They eroded like sedimentary rocks

He was heavy rain that wore her down

She was crystal forming in place of abrasion

poppy among shrapnel

After seasons of his wicked weathering

She forged a black hole in her brain’s limbic system

Where memories are made, scientists say

She buried him alive in the sink hole of her mind

In it everything they ever did

Every thought, every glimpse

Except for the three kids

A billion seconds later,

She shut the door to his easy shelter

It takes one second of one billion

To find the graphene-hard gristle

a heart of courage

To lose mental torture

and the man responsible

To walk barefoot through the broken glass

To walk barefoot through the broken past

To walk so far, she won’t look back