The Vagaries of Space

There is friction
In the space between
Your skin and mine
Fabric against fabric
Soul to soul
This heat stirring
Quite forbidden
Tempting as it is
Such a distraction
A pulling of strings
A taste of bittersweet
Kissing your lips
Static electricity
In your embrace

But I’m standing still
Watching the rain fall
Lost in a nostalgia
That is no longer real
Caught up in dreams
That never come at night
That bleed me clean
These vestiges of a love
That never should have been
Wrapped in tissue paper
In the back of my mind
Except when you’re around

So I practice avoidance
A turning of the phrase
A shifting of routine
This neatening of my life
These consequential sighs
That lead me nowhere
This tying up of strings
This copper-smelling rain
And life, and consequence
And all that’s in between
Fighting for a release
That will never come
Except in the spaces
That I can’t help saving.

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Not A [Test]

This is not a test
Not a chance to change
Or translate
Not the second coming
Before the first
Not a contemplation
Or a transmission
Of ill-begotten love
That pulses as it moves
Trapped in sentimentality
Patient to a fault

This is not a mission
Couched in platitudes
And promises for more
Because life doesn’t care
It doesn’t choose sides
Or give us more chances
It doesn’t beat drums
And there is no box
No tricks of the eye

Unshakable in its permanence
Perfect in its imperfections
Yellow golden in the sun
Until night falls
And the coyotes come
Until features blur
When an end is a beginning
Then comes around again

This is not a broadcast
Not static in the feed
Or interference
Not an equivalency
Or a disconnection
Not a representation
Of our failures and sins
Painted by number
This is not a test

Until it is.

Browns & Grays

So much balances
Upon the sharpness
Of a knife’s point
To cut out the night
A yielding of wills
Fractalized by light
A smattering of rain
Shot through with color
And disillusionment
Such old friends
Grasping at hands
And scattered clothing
On the kitchen floor
These wet shoes
Drying at midnight
Conjoined like twins
But not for long
Like the streetlamps
Flickering off
When the sun returns
To claim the city
As its bastard child
But morning reveals
The browns and grays
That were always this way
Before the canvas
And the acrylics
Laid it all to waste.

[Inspired by Afremov’s “Rain’s Rustle.”]

No Remainder

She circles back on me
Whirling like a dervish
Tumbling in waves
Choppy, strident, searching
For an uttered explanation
Eyes wide open on the world
Capturing this kaleidoscope
Fractal by fractal
Frame by weary frame
I hide in black and white
Standing imminently still
Breath catching at handholds
Hopeful that she doesn’t blink
Hiding in shadows
That convalesce the light
Waiting for the passing
Of longing and circumstance
To bring her back to me
To square her in my mind
Like so many angles
Striving to be smooth
To be everything I want
With no remainder.

Ghost Bones

This freezing cold
Inside my bones
Spreading infinite
Like wildfire
Caught on the breeze
Cold smoke sighing
Behind a cloudy lens
These consequences
Stultifying
This fragmentation
A pressure mounting
She moves in my arms
All soft and hazy
Helpless as a fawn
Waiting for the dawn
But I’m not enough
I’m ghost bones
Clattering around
Inside leathered skin
Waiting for the sun
To melt my insides.

Reptilian

This fear contains
Constricts as it moves
Sinuously smooth
Coolly calculating
Quite fascinating
For buzzards
Who pick on flesh
Like politicians
Suitable for wear
When sectioned off
These lies slip out
Through chapped lips
Labored consequence
Of fictional hopes
Shattered on the floor
So we leave hope
With love and trust
On the cutting table
Giving in to fear
And its discontents
This coiled cobra
Forever poised to strike
Consequently gone
In a puff of smoke.