YOU FOUND ME WANTING AND YOU LEFT
You found me wanting and you left
and the sea wept in me in the bay of my arms
like the new moon in the old as if
all the sorrows of the world were gathered there
and I didn’t know what to pray for anymore
as my tears turned red as the blood
of a hemorrhaging rose and the sundials
circled like the shadows of sharks in the water.
I lived in an oyster shell with a razor smile
like a disappointment to the moon, trying
in secret to turn my agony into black pearls
of occult wisdom that might retrieve the stars
we once walked under from the black hole
of love I fell into like a grave of light
I had to arise from on the other side, night
after night, my eyes in the rags of the mirages
I clung to as if that were the only skin I had left
in the desert cold of the moon after earthset.
Hurt? Destroyed? Did the rain crack like my tears
in the desiccated creekbeds of my starmud
trying to read their own lifelines in the deltas
of my eyes where they entered the void
and in the hieroglyphics that slashed my lips
like the wrecked cartouches of an heretical pharaoh
who had worshipped you alone as if the sun
had a feminine gender for anyone who travelled by night?
The worst fire in hell is the one that goes out on its own
like a curse that doesn’t make a difference
to the way you feel though you’ve mastered
this discipline of fire you kindled
with the arrows that longed for you
like the shadows of birds for a bow of moonlight
that stung like my fingertips for ever
having strung it with my spinal cord
like a guitar whipping its one good eye
like a soloist flagellating himself with the music
he used to play for you when you were
upstairs asleep, in the key of your dreams,
as if I could feather you in the most
incomparable nightskies you’ve ever
disappeared into like a fragrance of stars
from the rootfires of the wild asters you left in ashes.
Been a long time since the wind whistled
through the locust trees like a harmonica of thorns,
and the light etched albino ferns of ice on the windows.
The wound of your absence deepened my imagination
like a valley of death I had to firewalk through
like a scapegoat I drove out of myself
into a wilderness that was more about temptation
than atonement for anything I hadn’t done.
We may have separated like a wishbone
where the sacred rivers join the conversation
around the council of the three fires, wishing
each other the best we were capable of asking for,
though I was the one who came up short
like a strawman on a pyre to scare the crows
out of the starwheat, and you were as sure
as Spica in Virgo you were making all the right moves,
to fill your hollow silos with the staff of a new life
shy of my dark abundance illuminating
your bright vacancy by water-gilding your tears
with gold at the end of a moondog instead of a rainbow.
I tried to indulge you like the luxury
of a new beginning I couldn’t afford.
It’s hard to assess what might be of value
to someone when you’re always lavishing them
with the inestimable. I thought the stars
were more than enough but you wanted
diamonds for windows and sapphires for eyes
and all I had to offer in lieu of the real thing
were fractured telescopes of the way I saw the world.