Daybreak

When she raised her eyes and met his gaze
the train gave an unexpected lurch.
It was an ineffable moment,
like a deer looking up from the plain
for an instant and finding berries.
The sun was rising. His pale blue eyes
and the rye field rolling out behind
his broad shoulder reminded her of
the old town she’d run away from,
where the faded rye no longer danced
when the cold wind blew, and the mad crows
beat their wings against the stony sky.
And as she smiled at him, sunlight broke
through the tin-gray clouds that gathered on
the tip of her tongue all these quiet years.

 

Originally published on January 27th, 2016 on my old blog.

Many Years Later

Many years later, she saw him standing
in the cereal aisle of AJ’s Fine Foods.
He was reading the nutrition label
on a box of frosted flakes, still wearing
his mucky white converse with no shoestrings.

It was nearing seven. The blue between
two clouds grew paler but never vanished.
A bulb of white light quivered, and kept on
quivering still on the blank store ceiling.
Without a sound she turned away to see

if she has found everything she wanted.
Somewhere over the baking supplies aisle,
two shopping carts bumped into each other,
two strangers, mumbling soft apologies,
carefully went on their separate ways.

 

Originally published on January 9th, 2016 on my old blog.

Sylvia

She lay afloat, nakedly undulating
like a great maternal vessel.
Mother of the black corals.
A blinking eye, a quickening vein.
Hope was a mere pinnace to her greying ribcage.

She gathered death like she gathered water
around her wooden body.
Many have capsized this way.
Many who asked for roses got only thorns.
The leviathan approached her at midnight.

At dawn the light was soft like an unspoken wish.
Her hair grew heavy, her eyelids turned to a shade of blue
colder than the north star.
She opened her fists in the pummeled water.
Evergreen terrains stretched by her palms’ end.
Someone awaited her arrival.

The sea never ceased. With great power
it piled waves upon the hardened shores,
as heavy years piled upon the back of a defiant silhouette.
Forever bent but never broken, an ineffable wreckage.

From her sodden cartilages,
we collected things she once loved –
mushrooms and sows, skeletons and stones.
However ugly, however cold.
Our dearest smiling in her own shadow.

We buried everything in the moistened earth – those things,
melted lamps, fish bones, and the fat purple figs
fallen by her toes.
What was left from her pink knuckles and pretty smiles,
sewn together, became the map of a new voyage.

Then on a quiet night like this, her aroma suddenly came
from the norwegian sea, icy yet sweet like a comet.
It travelled through the branches of the moonlit laurels,
through the foliage of fond memories,
through the fingers of the solitary poetess,
through her burning artery, through her ardent hopes,
to the words as yet unborn
from her trembling lips.

In memory of Sylvia Plath

 

Originally published on October 8th, 2015 on my old blog. 

Fall’s Kingdom

On the first day of your claim,
a newborn raises his fist to the faraway trumpets
sounded for the triumphant return of October.

A league of white doves, oracles from the east,
adorn your royal robe with rain-soaked wreaths.
Before the trembling days and the darkened horses,
there are rivers, bright stars, and you

of pulpy lips and fecund breasts,
from which milk of nacre flows,
and fattened squash tumble down
into the palms of our arid endurance.

Your hair is golden as the maple leaves;
your breath is the scent of an apple orchard;
your earlobes, sweet
as the ripened grapes hanging from heaven’s vines,
have been kissed and kissed
by the doting peasants.

On your brow rests the throne of a butterfly,
dignified and full of sunlight.
Those beating wings reign over your vision.
We shall never despair.
We shall never die for want of another lilac
for as long as your courage perseveres.
The hapless take refuge under your sleeves;
the unworthy flee like indignant black moths.
Only one remains. Only one remains.
He is the great oak beneath the harvest moon.
As he bows to your grace, acorns fall to their deaths,
a season’s offering, a tribute to your life.

Your Kingdom.

 

Originally published on September 20th, 2015 on my old blog. 

The Tavern

At the edge of an atlas,
by the border of desert cactus,
stands the lonely tavern.
An unhinged door, moth-eaten lanterns,
and chock-full of dirty feathers.

The sky is a piece of dry cloth.

You move through a generation
of peanut shells.
Abandoned cocoons
fossilized in amber lamplights,
childless, unmoving.

The tavern’s usual patrons
travel from one end to another
in the hourglass’ desert, sifting
through god’s thinning fingers
between each dissipating hour.

The barkeep settles your tab,
five full tankards for five full lies.
There is no salvation for the dried-up souls,
only rum and gin and
an apple

for the the drunken crow.
With a pair of blotched wings,
it flies to the fevered moon, pale-faced,
bearing a glass coffin,

clear as vodka.

 

originally published on September 14th, 2015 on my old blog. 

Third Piece

She practiced her love on every ugly toad,
casually tossing I-love-yous
into the gaping mouths
of those desperate souls.
With each rehearsed declaration, she felt a new sensation,
an unknown tenderness that she carefully learned,
treasured and saved
for the prince.
But those words, uttered too many times,
have slowly swelled up her tongue,
until it grew so prodigious
that she could not close her lips.
So she waited for her prince,
with a gaping mouth,
ugly and desperate,
completely ignored and detested
by her fellow toads.

The Swallow

I heard the swallow has betrayed the south-bound league.
Into the fatal arms of winter she dove, a solitary soldier
leaving behind a trail of rain-soaked cloud
already mourning her death.

In the forsaken forest, the swallow often sighed,
breath full of sorrows.
Yet no one knew her troubles, desolate troubles
that bubbled up from her heart,
Like raindrops, like storms, like tornadoes.
Nocturnal feet danced upon unturned stones, under which those fearful souls
slept, seeking permanence in time and forgiveness.

In the land of darkened purpose, the swallow often circled,
tired of her own shadows.
Water fell from the her wings onto dried-up honeysuckles. Those colorless kisses
rested upon the pale bones of broken lilies.
So many of them, once green and alive, unconquerable for an age,
knelt down at the dark wind’s hand, surrendered their petals to fate.

In the night of coal-black ashes, the swallow often pondered,
Will there be courage in those tarried morrows?
Darkness came with furious gallops, as if maddened by her presence.
She stood on the monument of seasons, unmoved by doomsday’s silence.
How she came to find the bow and arrows
buried against the foot soles of an ancient dream –
No one knows.

I heard the south-bound league came to the shore of soft violets.
They put red cherries between their teeth,
and tied forget-me-nots around their feet.
But they forgot about the name of their homestead
and their trembling friend.

Come first snowfall, when all the babies went to sleep by the lulling mountains,
I looked up to the infinite sky,
and I saw her –
A solitary soldier, with burning plumage on her shoulders,
A few bent trees waiting on winter,
and a star, defied, without a murmur.

 

originally published on August 14, 2015 on my old blog