The World is Flat

flat1The world is flat
A straight line
Stretching to forever
Never meeting itself
Even in dark alleys
Where shadows blend
And fragments shift
All granite radiance
This constant match
Between common sense
And petulant wishes
Like a child with a toy
Who winds it up
Releasing its consciousness
Waiting for resistance
When there is none
Just a slick surface
Impossibly level
Like the ground floor
Of a house of cards
Jealous of the curve
Of a woman’s lip
The sweeping gesture
Inherent in a bow
Any slip of the tongue
These lies in the wind
Tossing like soiled sheets
Before touching down
On horizontal ground.

Dying a Little

thI died a little inside
The moment you said goodbye
It was a small death with flowers
Left on the unmarked grave
But a death nonetheless
Black and portentous as night
Frequently overlooked at dawn
Because that’s when we move on
When our tears turn to dust
And blow away on the breeze
Like so many fairy tales
And wishes on shooting stars
But that’s not how it goes
This death by inches
This creeping, black thing
That steals color from us all
Crushing it like so much ash
In a kind of stark reality
Intense in its tenacity
Giving nothing as it takes
These tears overflowing
But no one is around to see
To hear the distinct shrieks
As I keep dying in sections
Until there’s nothing left
Except mourners all in white
Heading to an empty grave.

Baptism

underwater-air-bubblesOne foot before the other
As if testing tepid water
A tentative engagement
Lost in the rising steam
Anchored to experience
Of times spent far away
Flailing amidst the undertow
The water stronger than love
More insistent than memory
More potent than apathy
And hot like eternal fire
Testing petulant souls
Who leap in like the wind
Swirling the murky depths
Scalding this perfect skin
Flush with anticipation
Before coming back to earth
To practice a patience
Born of a certain consequence
Shackled to these imperfections
That make us who we are
Sinking down into the depths
To rise again like Lazarus
With skin as white as snow
Then one foot after another
Reaching for purchase
Stepping onto dry land.

The Big Empty

empty_bedWe sleep in separate beds
Though the nights are bitter cold
Attached to memories better discarded
Than running rampant in my mind
These covers pushed aside
As penance for my transgressions
A shivering and aching in my bones
On sheets dirty with your sweat
But you’re no longer here
Though your ghost lingers near
Touching my lips, feather soft
Pressing hard against me
Like you always used to do
This pressure so spiritual
Filling my reprobate soul
With the length and breadth of you
Your imprint on the pillow
Undisturbed for weeks on end
It reeks of indeterminate smells
But I imagine they’re still from you
Though time steals everything
Except for nostalgic interludes
When we still move in a rhythm
So pure it makes me cry
And this bed that kept us warm
Now hollow with unexamined blame
As empty as the day you left
With an overwhelming silence
That has yet to dissipate
I imagine the bed you sleep in now
All sharp angles and ends
Pricking your sensitivity
Making you cry out in the night
When the cold wind howls
Like coyotes on a wintry plain
Desperate for an understanding
That remains as far from me
As your disparate dreams
Lying as you ever will
In a bed I will never see.