All Fall Down

 

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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.

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Love, Vanquished

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“Why don’t you write a joyful poem?”

S’il vous plait,” she says to me,

“Poetry”- a subject about which we have spoken comparatively little,

“Is mournful by nature.”

 

I am struck, as if by lightning,

Not by her seeming revelation

About the nature of the artform in question,

But by the formality of her please.

 

She is one of those dying breed of people –

The ones who understand with brutal intimacy

The difference between te and vous,

The ones who use language like the fine edge of a blade,

Ruthless, remorseless, ravenous,

Knowing just where to wound –

How to throw salt upon one’s soul

So it will strike those pulsing, jagged wounds,

How to wield a fire, wild to the last,

And tame it.

 

I am silent,

And she switches back to English,

But I cannot speak,

Not in one language, nor in two.

 

Poetry,

I’ve found,

Is, indeed, mournful by nature,

Not unlike the art of love.

Genesis

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I come from the forest

Where dreams go to die,

And the smell of loam,
Deep and dark,

 

Disguises our every secret;
Where the silence,

Impenetrable as the fortress along the shore

Where impossible wishes spawn,

Swallows every sound.

eschatology: a poem

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(Eschatology: Noun. The theological study of the fate of the world.)

 

I am the rain that falls,
Redemptive;

I am the wind
That wearies the wanderer.

I am the silence
That befalls all sound.

Still Life

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Modeled from Jane Hirshfield’s ‘Pebbles,’ from her collection The Beauty. I adore her work and mean no infringement through my emulation of her poem.

The disloyalty of Lucifer,

The Fall of Man,

And Paradise Lost;

All in the same still-life of a half-eaten fruit.

 

Like that,

I remember you.

Summer’s Ending Soon

Summer is what summer has always been.

It’s that moment in July

When you realize,

“Summer’s ending soon,”

And there is not a thing you can do

To stop the turning of the Earth,

Or the motions of the planets,

Or the revolution of the stars in their orbits

Around some distant galactic hub

Which I have and will never see,

Yet am assured by the most veritable authorities

Exists,

Somewhere impossibly distant from here,

Beyond the boundless distance between the stars,

Across time and space,

Itself turning with the eons,

Hurtling through space

On a collision course with its neighbor,

And I suppose I can relate

But then again, maybe not;

Maybe there are just some things beyond

The boundaries of what is relative and relatable

To the human experience,
Which is also something

I have never seen,

But which my humanity,

And your humanity,

And our collective humanity

Demands the existence of.

Summer is what summer has always been –

Our humanity at its finest,

Life and death balanced together on the edge of a knife,

Dancing with one another on the head of a pin,

Which brings into question once more

Just how many angels can, in fact,

Dance their divinity away on such a surface;

I say that the answer lies somewhere near the square root

Of the number two;

No one else seems to agree.

Autumn

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Autumn arrived

Much in the same way it always does,

With a blustering gust of wind

And a hint of chill in the air.

 

It came for me

While I was asleep,

The turning of the Earth

And the motions of the Heavens

Colluding to bring about the fall

Of all those brittle, bright-colored leaves

From their summertime stations.

 

Fall entered stage-right, and I?

I stood, enraptured, as She came closer,

Caught utterly unawares by her presence,

Not realizing that summer had gone

Until it was already far too late

To mourn its passing.