Her Garden

She remembers how light the kisses once were
– all the ones she’s ever been given –
no more than butterflies at her mouth,
her wrists, her eyelids, her forehead,
and the back of her exposed knees.
Now there are moths at the window-screen
at dusk when she is weary of leaving her bed
to watch the last autumn leaf deserting
the wind-shaken poplar in her garden. Long ago
there was something in her, but now that thing is gone.
Gone are the boys of summer, buried
already in her plentiful lavender. Long ago
before all the kisses she was once just a moth girl
in her white slip on a cold summer night,
testing the fresh dews with one bare foot.
And she goes into her garden, where nothing is blooming;
she finds everything blooming.

 

Originally published on May 7th, 2016 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. 

Departure

Remember when we were young,
we used to run wild in the fields,
easy footsteps caressing
the wrinkled brows of ancient hills.
We were dancing fairies
that made the whole forest sing.
The days were unhurried
and evenly pink.

Then one day you began
talking about a life elsewhere, a place
without metaphorical flowers or bread,
where you could sweat and tread
in your new sails and moccasins. You left me
half-hearted kisses
and bouquets of teary tulips.
Yellow petals fell, as soon as you were gone,
headlong into the ground. Those hopeless little faces
buried themselves in earth,
like obstinate ostriches, hiding
from unstoppable truths, capable
of neither running away
nor being saved.

At sunrise, trees bent down to lend shadows
to creatures who were fearful of their own.
In this world I marched alone
with a book of vacated love
and an undulating heart
that overturned ships
with each turning page.

Only with bruised lips and confessions could I remain constant.
I rid my body of metaphors you detested – romantic notions that
turned rivers into music,
and withering roses into unrequited love –
so that one day you could return
and kiss my hardened, concrete flesh.

Only with hollow bones and desolate passions could I remain constant
among this foliage of absences and
you and I and solitary stars.
At sundown, the world is devoured by her own shadow, whole
and complete.

Years later, I lay under the twilight of fading memories.
Children run across the wrinkled brows of my ancient breasts. My soul
is a bottle of dried laments.
Through half-opened eyes, I see you standing at the very beginning,
a hand in mine, brown eyes, a surge of delight.
Have you come back to say goodbye, my beloved?
This voyage, already so long, expanding into this incessant night,
is about to come to an end as I
gracefully close my eyes.

 

originally published on September 5, 2015 on my old blog