I Wanted to Write You Into a Love Poem

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I wanted to write you into a love poem,

But all I can conjure

Is a picture of a girl crying off her mascara

On a stoop in the south of Chicago,

Smeared burgundy lips wrapped around

One

Thin cigarette,

And the man she used to love

Entering the scene upon his exit

From the doorway with it’s crumbling yellow paint,

Pale, now, in the rising moonlight,

Faded from

Two

Decades of wind and rain,

And the gun he’s hiding behind his back –

“Come in,” he says to her –

Voice shaking in the cold December night,

And she says

Three

Words in return,

Breath rising like a halo around her lips,

But it’s lost to the wicked wind,

And he raises his hand and puts

Four

Slim, flattening bullets

Into her, and the

Five

Children they had together

Come running

Just as the church bells ring,

Announcing the arrival of the hour

Six.

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Spared the Fire

 

 

Spared the fire, drown’d in desire,

Beholding the choir yet longing for a lyre,

She stands in rapture upon the holiest of holy lands,

And all at once she understands,

Watching the angels dance in time with its ever-shifting sands,

That both love and loss doth count the cost,

But tis in love that least is lost.

where the waters run sweet and clear; that’s where the graves are

grave

 

 

I carried you past the borderlands, through the wastelands, towards the place where we buried our dead in times of old.

Where the waters run sweet and clear; that’s where the graves are;

 I drank deep and greedily from that chalice where the sky met the sea, the melodious sound of the shore pounding within my heart, the sharp salt tang of your blood on my hands diluted by the water of life which had sustained me for so long.

I carried you through the valley of the shadow, up the mountain against which all other mountains are measured, and I said my bitter goodbyes as I wept over your body, the tears flowing in rivulets down the mountain, through the valley, down to the graves.

Where the waters run raging and roaring against the shore, that is where I set you;

And I swear I could see the stars reflected in your eyes,

No matter the noonday light.

Red Sky at Morning

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Sorrow sheathes your soul in shadow,

And I?

I wish I could lift it,

Like a woman’s wedding veil,

And peer deep into your eyes –

Past the rushing rivers of time

Which have carved the canyons and valleys

That mar your soul,

Deep, into that pricey well,

For which Odin gave his eye.

 

You are gone, now –

Off on a separate and inherently unequal

Tangent of earthly life,

Human drudgery,

And nothing like transcendence anywhere to be found,

Save perhaps for when the veil ruptures,

And somewhere far off

There can be heard the music of angels –

And Gabriel has momentarily traded

A horn that will foretell the end of days

For the lyre of peace.

 

One day,

When we meet again,

I will lift that fragile lace,

The darkness will part like an omen,

And all will once more seem eternal.

I carry you to places where the gulls’ wings are smaller by half

icarus-dreams

 

 

Gleaming in sunlight,

I am the one who carries you from your home in the countryside

To the shining city.

 

I hold you in my womb,

Each morning delivering you

Changed,

Ever so slightly,

And you emerge,

Moth-like,

From the tunnels,

Blinking into the daylight,

Momentarily stunned as if

Stepping out of the Allegory

And into the legend of

Icarus’s brief flight.

 

I carry you to places where the gulls’ wings

Are smaller by half,

And I know

You have nightmares,

Sometimes,

About the paradoxes of Zeno;

But I carry you more than halfway,

And for that,

You are grateful.

Fairy Garden

sophieandersontakethefairfaceofwoman

 

She still believes in fairies.

 

They write her notes in the garden

Populated with the homes she’s made for them,

Where occasionally a wildflower

Will bloom, bright and blue,

Half-expected, that welcome, noble guest,

Around which the fairies will dance

Forever through the night.

 

She’ll hear their music.

 

I will, too, sometimes – rarely –

Though it’ll never sound the same,

Because that is what time does to one,

Layer by layer like a sandstorm

Stripping you of every ounce of faith,

From which you once so freely drank

Of that most holy of chalices.

 

She drinks too greedily from that fount.

 

Soon, she’ll wonder why that cup,
Which once overfloweth,

Is looking emptier by the day,

Youth, she’ll lament,

Lasts but a summer.

 

She knows that summer is ending soon.

A Prayer

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Odin’s Ravens came today

To take my measure as a man.

Is that better

Or worse

Than Zeus appearing before his cupbearer to be

In the form of an eagle?

 

 

I want to be carried away, too

And I wish to die amongst the Gods,

Yes, I want my ashes to be scattered

Across the Heavens,

So that I, too, might orbit

Some greater being than myself –

Some looming star

More steadfast than I.