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?

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decaying triptych

1.

bleached bones and carrion–
food for the vultures,
the scavengers searching
for what we leave
when we die

2.

scavenged remnants and
broken vessels
spilling over onto
cold beaches
of black sand

3.

scattered pages left
for the mold to take–
ideas molded into
form and function,
reduced to unheard whispers

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.

ridges

feeling my way
through the cloud
of sand churned up
by the crashing waves

the bottom of the
world comes into
focus and i see
the flecks of white

the ridges of shells
dead creatures who
left their skeletons
behind to be

turned and washed
ground and shaped
by wave after wave
time and tide

i took one shell
and ran a finger
along its smooth ridges
before it washed away

Noah Wept

Three dark nights before the flood, Noah sat in a circle of dirt, thinking about what lay ahead.

He was righteous.

He was just.

He walked with God.

He sat and thought and waited.

He thought of his sons. He thought of his wife. He thought of his sons’ wives. He thought of the animals, wild and tame, the birds of the air, the creeping things of the earth.

He thought of the earth.

He thought of the waters.

His eyes filled with tears that spilled into the circle of dust from which he cried out to God. He took a handful of the damp earth and with it, covered his face.

Three days later, the rains came and washed the dried earth away. The circle of dirt of his dark nights became a valley. Then a mountain.

Then a memory.

open lens

my eye opens to let the light in
a quick blink–
more than that and i go blind–
and what i see is forever

i know you

i know how your hands feel
when you take me in your fingers
allowing me to wake up
for milliseconds at a time
my eye trained on what
you want to immortalize

i know you better than anyone

your loves, your face, your touch,
where you go, what you do–
i remember it all
while you forget

every time my eye opens
my retina is burned with
shadows and light

i remember while you forget

until you take me apart
and unspool my eyes
burning the memories away