Sunday, August 18, 2013



I can see the love and the loss in your green, green eyes again,
stars away from the light I wanted to be in your life.
Deadly nightshade and sunflowers, I remember the loveletters
that used to arrive like wounded doves with strawberry hearts
bleeding through the snow, wild roses in an ice-age
with flint knapped thorns and the lunar horns
of a dragon of desire for firesticks. I would have
smudged my ghost with a noose of sweetgrass
from the highest rafter in this house of life long before this
if you hadn’t left the gate of your absence open
to the dark paradise of the abyss I’ve been falling through
ever since love got precipitous as a Clovis point with a razor’s edge
and every nightbird in the repertoire of the songs I wrote
started playing with my jugular like a one-string guitar
strung like a highwire act over the voice box
they’re still looking for close to where I crashed.

Some people focus like telescopes on what they can see.
And some look under the eyelids of their deathmasks
at the dreams disappearing like the fragrances and vapours
of the spirits that changed the way they look at life
like a waterclock of endless nights that write their names
in their breath on the black mirrors of a seance of new moons
that can’t meet the same stranger twice, given once
is enough of an afterlife to make death seem petty
compared to the nightmare of the exits we have to go through
to get here, alone and homeless as a welcome mat
on the threshold of a fire escape that descends into a dark alley
where I jam with the feral cats on the urn of a burnt guitar
I carry the ashes of my love poems in like a moonrise in my throat,
birds of the morning singing in the false dawns
of the creosote clinging to my vocal cords like boat-tailed grackles
on a powerline that came down in a storm, how
could it have been otherwise, like a bullwhip across my eyes.

Fireflies are intimate with the tenderness of pain,
but the dragons of love wreak utter destruction in their wake.
And everybody dies in the intensity of the conflagration
like a savage heart on the bone altar of its pyre
just to keep the fire fed like a star that consumes itself
for the sake of shedding a little light on the immensity
of its solitude, many, many nights without curfews ahead.

I resent nothing. I regret less. I don’t plead
like a rosary of skulls beaded like black dwarfs
on an abacus of love that renders an account of all I’ve lost.
If I’ve grown wise as an enlightened eclipse from the encounter,
it was an accident, and if I’ve deepened my ignorance sufficiently
to understand the evanescence of dark matter, there was
never any intent to seek shelter under the wing
of an evil portent that mentored me to see in the dark
that the petals of your loveletters had stopped blooming
in the Jurassic greenhouse of your eyes, like the flowers
and feathers we hoped would evolve out of our scales
like guitar picks into the quills of an oracular snakepit
of picture-music singing back up to the hidden harmonies
in the lonely ballads of the cosmic hiss that puts a finger
to the lips of the silence in a command performance of bliss
that made the darkness shine for awhile, and aged the wine
in the bells of the sorrows that emptied the urns
of the skulls we once raised to celebrate fire on the moon
like lunar starfish burning under water like a shipwreck
of white phosphorus in the Sea of Tranquility
you had to learn to handle like fireflies piloting the Pleiades
through the earthbound starclusters of the New England asters
as if it would always be September ever after
like the crossbones of a harvest moon perishing
like an outdated calendar with the scenic view of an abandoned house
where life once happened in the shadows of the candles
in a wax museum I’ve never been able to put out
like a nightwatchmen that keeps all the doors to his heart unlocked.

A gust of stars settling like dust on the windowsills of the past
and if I don’t say it in a rush of light, I forget
all the words to the song and start making things up
like the flying buttresses of fossilized dragons
I dredge up from my starmud to support the loss
of the faith I used to have in my memory not to lie to me
about how rapturously intimidating it was to see you
walking up the driveway to the door
that keeps opening me up like an unread loveletter
as if you were always standing on the other side
of the pain thresholds I’ve crossed out like the tree ring
of my name carved into the heartwood of a scratched guitar
just to see the love and the loss in your green, green eyes again
and maybe sing, o yes, sing a little in the dark
of what you meant to me like a star in the willow boughs
of the saddest poetry I’ve ever recited like a fire in the night
I ghost dance around in the war bonnets of love
I shed like the swan songs of summer stars in the autumn
as our flightpaths arc like arrows fletched in flames toward earth.


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