More Faith than Flesh

alpine-forest-1

 

I toss my troubles

Down the wishing well,

Watch them until they melt into the inky black,

Bid them farewell, if only for the night,

And let myself wander the alpine forests of my youth,

Where the wax seal of time

Is still warm from the pouring,

And the swaying, golden fields of life

Have only just begun to be harvested,

Where the air is redolent with the heady scent of loam

Mixed with distant traces of sea foam;

And if a tree falls in this forest,

It won’t make a sound,

So unburdened am I

That I am more faith than flesh.

Advertisements

What I’ve Tasted of Desire

fire-ice-facial

Title is from a line of Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice.”

She’ll wear your perfume, but only once you’ve left, or rather, once she has chased you out, swift-sweeping all the remnants of you from her castle, save for a single bottle of the pink lilac scent you used to wear, when you were her lover.

She’ll burn your clothes, it’s true, and you’ll leave in such a hurry that you’ll forget your dream journal, which she’ll decide is too sacred to read, and into the pyre it’ll go – all those dreams you used to hold so dear, all going up in a blaze of glorious smoke.

Your books will end up in a bin in front of a library twenty miles out of town, though she’ll consider keeping Tolstoy, if only for the irony. She’ll decide against it, in the end.

She’ll pour your cognac down the sink, or better yet, toss the whole bottle into the ocean blue, for the mermaids to get drunk off of, and they, too, will feel the heat of the passion you once let smolder in between the bedsheets, which she’ll burn later, when she goes to the beach next Midsummer to light a bonfire in memory of freeing herself from you.

It isn’t until the quiet stillness of September of the year after dawns that she’ll gingerly free the bottle of perfume from an unadorned wooden box in the corner of the side drawer of her most frequently neglected dresser, and dab it between her breasts, and upon her wrists, and anoint her neck with the scent of you, breathing it in like a starving animal – and she will remember you, then, and only then, with some degree of longing, and her heart?

It’ll burn too.

rose-colored glasses: a poem

 

800px_colourbox2610428

 

her hands shake.

it’s not the first thing you’d notice,

but it’s the kind of habit that you begin to wonder about

when you take her hand in yours,

and she’s trembling, and you take her wine glass and

maybe she’s just a little drunk, but no,

the sun’s just rising,

and it’s just rose-colored water,

or perhaps something more sinister;

either way, you cannot help but greet the day

by pressing her up against the wall,

letting the glass fall unbidden to the floor,

and it shatters, the scent of blood thick on her breath,

but it’s only, you find, because she’s bitten her lips raw,

and, oh, she must love the taste, love it as she’ll never love you –

and you can taste that on her, too,

the way she tenses under you,

the manner in which she pulls away a second or two too soon,

and then you kneel before her, your knees scraping against the broken glass and

your blood mingles with hers and

it’s not all right and it never will be,

but maybe, just maybe,

she’ll lie with you tonight,

if only to lick the bloody tears from your eyes as you mourn

what could have been.

her hands will be steady as she wraps them ‘round your throat

and that’ll be the last thing you ever notice about her, the world, and all,

save for maybe a passing thought about how there are no stars in her eyes, now,

though you’d swear they were there, earlier.

Gray Like the Shadowlands of my Youth

b4d444e8ea9dd7a5529a228f544d576f (1).jpg

 

I will never be able to come up with an appropriate metaphor

For the color of your eyes;

Gray, like the shadowlands of my youth,

Not in truth,

But in memory,

Green with jadedness from strife,

Not in life,

But in dreams,

Blue, much in the same manner of the sea

On a cloudless day;

That is to say –

I know not,

For I, too busy mapping the stars in your eyes,

Never paused

To notice something as terrestrial as their hue.

That is forgetfulness – its Cupid’s arrow sweet and true.

Alexandria

 

slow-motion-burning-red-roses_byyqh7peh__f0000

Nighttime is the sweetest of all sorrows, rose petals – soft, supple, silken – shattering upon impact with some greater force, becoming bitter and brittle in the instant before it comes time to face the music of their fall.

A cigarette being lit in a back alley somewhere near the city of Alexandria, all while the ancient regime crumbles, and another empire upon which the sun will never set rises from its ashes.

Time, time; the fire in which we burn, cigarette smoke curling in thin circles around our lips, obscuring the words we meant to say and leaving only those we’d rather have left unspoken.

Time, time – be mine.

Alexandria burnt, and no phoenix rose to take her place.

Our fate will be no different – time, scattering us upon the winds of fate, ashes to ashes; dust to dust.

Our destinies diverged the moment we entered stage-right, but in the end, we’re all appointed to meet pale death in Samara, or some other city whose name used to be some kind of parable for life, but is now only remembered as the site of a spectacular graveyard; the place a great battle was fought, and lost.

Long I Stood on that Mount

mountains-eiger_3374107a

 

 

Long I stood on that mount,

And sang mournful poetry

That spoke of the passing of twilight

Into deep, forest-dark night,

The rise and fall of summer

To autumn,

The silent marching of the years

Over the edge of eternity.

All Fall Down

 

3482920195_69c7c72d86

You are held entranced by

The pale milk river of her arm against yours

And the new-leaf softness of her hand as it curls around your own,

And her voice, it sounds like the church bells

Whose ringing prophesizes the setting of the sun.

 

It is quiet until she speaks,

But it is silence that falls

When she asks,

“Stand with me,”

And all you can do is fall,

Recklessly, ruthlessly, ruinously

Away.