Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Following the Reaping

(in four parts)

1. By the Very Same Sickle

I was dragged into a journey
that looked like an admission of love
for my brooding-over-steeping-tea posture.

There is more to this road than sliding.
Every time my stooped back turned,
a pointed finger jabbed my chest and I knew

the truth – heaps of empty haystacks lie
in the dirt and the sickle swings right before bed.
I was always either thirsty or very, very sad.

2. On Truth and Freedom and Being a Coward

We pay by the foot for oblivion’s dust,
knowing our journey will turn eventually
as red as spending every morning alone

reading by refrigerator light. We rely on unstoppable
go-to moves – the fire-pole slide, the running
toward one abandoned cat after another, the vague

unintentional deaths, and the folding in on ourselves.
We become bullying cowards with nothing left
but rage and a truth as scary as being set free.

Mildew draws mice and mice draw blood –
that makes love a dry throat, salty, eager for something
cold to drink – something very, very cold.

 3. Freedom Is a Liquid Thing

With just one leg in my pants, sweat begins
to drip bloodshot as a bullet wound left to fester.
Glowing against the kitchen window just above

a sinkful of dirty dishes piled high and rancid
as another unwelcome flirtation, there’s a light
as cold and blue as a morgue drawer. It interrogates

my introspection with hoarse rasps of why and fists
that never flip a finger. All freedom is a liquid thing,
up until the red runs dry – very, very dry.

4. All the Rest Is a Rapture

Lies run down my nose and off its tip
into a hot red pot of sweet-smelling meat.
My life’s gone green and needs a poultice,

needs to soak in the amber glare of a thickly
shellacked bar with shadows as dark as reaping
strokes. Knowing only the fear of never going deep

or letting my muscles bulge in the right direction,
I imagine a life as soft as a goddess-thigh and warm
as the air gods breathe. All the rest is a rapture;

a waking up cold, stiff, and a little bit blue; a waiting
to remember what it’s like to really want sleep –
to really, really want it.

From my chapbook "The Allness of Everything" (Maverick Duck Press)

(To learn more about "The Allness of Everything," click here.)

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