Friday, October 31, 2008



The night in the wounded mirror

is only a childhood away from my face

and there’s always a shattered window

between me and my starless shining,

and a dead bird upturned on the sill

as if the sky, too, had its quota of roadkill.

Looking back from all these

lightyears and constellations away,

on the black day I was born under an eclipse

like a flower clenched into a fist,

an eye without an iris darker than a shark’s,

I suspect there was a lot more suffering back then

than I was able to live my way through,

estranged in the corner of a kitchen

that was a feeding frenzy of knives.

I still can’t leave one out on the counter

without fearing it’s just another punctuation mark,

the claw of a comma in a long sentence of blood.

At best, it’s the silver scar of the moon

that slashed me open like a well-honed loveletter

that wasn’t meant for me.

And I still don’t know how to approach

the child I was, the child I still am

time-travelling through himself like a glacier

as if he could put a stop to evolution

or survive his extinction

by keeping to himself like ice.

I look upon his solitude and silence,

the unaccusing indictment of his face,

like a cold, brass plague

commemorating the unidentifiable victims

of an atrocity that can’t be understood.

He’s still seven and I’m looping through sixty

like the spine of a calendar

shedding me like autumn,

a picture of turning leaves on every page,

until there’s no way of telling what age we are

in this season out of time,

and I want to love him, I want

to say things that could heal us both like water

before I take him with me into my grave,

but I don’t truly know how,

and there are secret vows of violation

that are taken without a mouth

and assassins of intimacy in the shadows

and children sleeping in snakepits

who make up their own bedtime stories

and dream of things that can’t be told to anyone

who hasn’t been devoured in their ancient infancy

by the furious innocence of the sea.

Dark-hearted jewel

of a child in the night,

older than light

who has made more of me

than I can make of him,

when I weep for what he knows

and will not say, what am I,

what are these words

in the inky shacks of the trees

but the lengthening shadow

of the darkness that pours out of him like blood,

or duct-tape like moonlight over the mouth of a scream?

And if I come back now

like the legend I have made of his sorrow

to gather him up in my arms like a harvest under a full moon,

and if I sit with him all night

without saying anything

here on this skull of a rock

until each of us is the memory of the other,

could it make anything better,

would it take the thorn of the moon

out of the eye of the dragon

that sheds its skin like childhood skies,

not knowing where things end, things begin?