Moving Past Cathedral Mountain

And so we came upon a valley,
the bottom of which we could not see,
and the air buzzed with electric fog
when we approached the precipice
of our holy mountain.

We stepped, one ginger footfall
at a time, onto the rocks,
onto the roots, making our steps silent
as we descended into the valley.

The buzz and hum of the air
rattled in the thick humidity.
Our gasping throats opened to drink
what water we could gather from the fog.

And as the valley came closer
to our hungry eyes,
the need for anything fell away
and our appetite was replaced
by an emptiness.

We stared out with blank eyes
on the green we had come to see.
The fruitful land was ready and welcoming
but we were far from home.

Our holy mountain loomed on
our descent into the valley
and our eyes dimmed in the shadows
as the mountain blocked out the sun.

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godom and somorrah

what men are these
with eyes of steel
burning in their heads

flaming arrows shot
from a glance
directed to the heart

silence is spoken
we sit in awe
of lives broken

by answering the call
to arms with second glances
over our shoulders–

if good is found
in this or that
for better chances of betterment

the lives we’ve taken
are forsaken for
the sake of our own glory

eyelids are a riptide
widening with each breath–
each gulp shifts and swallows

sand from the belly
of a hollow tree
that stands solemnly as we fall

turning and turning
into widening wounds–
a loosening grip

on heavenly sounds–
have the angels
ceased to sing

or have we forged
what the angels brought down–
do we give freely

of what we bring forth
or second think
our better thoughts?

a lake in three parts

1.

she walked to the edge
of the water where
the planks of the wood
trailed off

she dipped one foot
into the water
one foot left
on the solid planks

2.

he brings one hand back
and flicks his wrist forward

casting the filament
sinking beneath
the surface

he sits peacefully
and waits patiently

3.

they waded in and
left their clothes
on the shore

slicing through
the gentle waves

floating gently
on their backs

the sun reflects on
the surface of the water
and warms their wet skin

split river breeding

a world broke in two,
then and now, a sliver running
down the spine of futurepast,
pasttense, errorandcorrection,
registering in the attuned ear
as a fracture of magnitude
great enough to cast
even the most stalwart into
fits of doubt–

the logic in the madness–
the radiant swoons of clarity
make it hard to sift
the gold from the streams,
pick apart the deposits of silt
collecting and trapping
what threatens to flow
into the vast depths
of the ocean and breed–

bred out of existence
and into the metaordinary,
the subordinate scarring of
halfhealed old wounds–
fractured spines and divided
rivers, forked waters and
tongues lapping the banks
where new eggs are laid
in old wombdens

dust of the earth, dust of the stars

the ashes in the palm of my hand dissolve to a thin film of gray when i circle my thumb, starting from the center, and work my way outward, driving the dust into every ridge, every line from heart to head to love to life, driving the powder into invisibility, obscurity, hiding it in the crests and troughs of the valleys of skin until it is barely seen: a hidden stigmata of remembrance, dust to dust, ash to ash, from where we came we shall return: dust of the earth, dust of the stars, the inner world becoming outward as i move my thumb outward to cover my palm in ash.

opening the devouring chasm

closing the gap between
our strange times
and our strange history

we mark our progress
on our pilgrim’s path
with the breadcrumbs

left by the centuries
that came before us

we scatter the trail
when it becomes inconvenient,
too irksome, too problematic

we can’t see the gap
becoming wider

we can’t see the chasm
opening its jaws
to devour us when we forget

we forget to step lightly
we forget to move forward

we forget what we
don’t want to know
and never look upon

what we wish
we hadn’t seen

we scatter and cower
we fall into
the chasm we created

by never looking
down from the high
road we’ve taken

They Dream Stars

she dreams of being a double star,
twin gravity, spiraling into
her split sense of dual wholeness.

he dreams of the sun, singular,
a dim light in the outstretched arm
of a collapsing galaxy.

they dream themselves as stars,
forever burning their light
in a vastness of black,

never looking into the eyes
of what the other is
and seeing themselves reflected there.

Work Minute

over 90 degrees,
95% humidity,
3:15 in the afternoon,

shirt soaked through
and clinging to my
back and chest,

constant drip of sweat
onto my scratched glasses
from my red eyelids.

sit for a moment.
cup of water.
air conditioning inside

feels even colder
than usual through my
sodden tshirt.

take a minute to breathe.
take a minute to cool.
take as long as i can.

it’ll all still be there.
i’m sure of that.
take a couple minutes more.