The Rope (Portrait #3)

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The snow is blamed, it always is, as mad as you get at it, as mad as it makes me. But, I know, like you do, now, it’s always the rope. The others don’t realize the rope’s properties, as a living thing. They aren’t mad, just frightened. They see me smile and relax. Fear rises then slips from them as I let go of you. Your weight is the weight of all of them, tethered together. Their trust is a grasp and mistakes made within a clasp.

I worry about you. We came this far. I have control and why not? I can’t hold on, or, should I say, I won’t. I mean, These rocks are our lives now, cold, rough. Can’t you see our lives through the others? As if their skeletons were glass and their skin invisible. If you could, you would see my reasoning. I have so much warmth for you, that’s why I let go. Surely, you understand. I tried to tell you before, when I said, “In the middle, I straddle both sides, I’m unsure of the footing.” It’s an attempt at balance. Slipping, You wouldn’t let me, I’m slipping, why would you let me? Let go. 

They teach you the ways of balance and trust, even as you fall. Belief steers people higher upon the mountains, digging caves, stashing bones, earning interest. You, like them, become dependent upon the grasp. Even in these last seconds, I would come with you, down to the foothills Play with you in the rain, rub softness into your heart, wander in a world without holding onto to it tightly, let the water run through our hands, swallow life in one motion, not to nibble it down into to pieces until bones are exposed. My hand burns as the rope slips, what did you expect? I cut the cord. I have to.

It makes me. It speaks to me. The rope is sound, a happy voice, playing games. Your voice, so weak now. I hear two voices. I get confused. Is it them? They can’t fool me. It’s the rope. It will always be the rope, my friend. They are only echoes. I’ve been here so many times and heard. Different kinds of voices, clashing rhythms, tightened microtones, struggling with the climb. I’m sorry. You don’t believe me. Yes, you are right. I can teach them about the snow How tracks get caught in them. How tracks disappear when lingering, clouds scraping precipitation, higher upon perception. But, The rope must speak in its own tongue. I can’t ask you. I can only understand you.

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Casuals Don’t Fool Anyone

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Slippers are for cowards

Slip-ons are for Christmas

Morning hung-over dads

Sandals are for white people

forced into dreadlocks

on their way to burn a man

Dancing out of their money

eating spiced tempeh fries

disguised as Jesus peyote

offered by the naturopath

Indian guru of gluttony

Socks are for holy days

Pray upon the sacred hamper

Perform the rites of Wash Day

Resurrection is in the dryer

Boots are for the blues

Galoshes are for the lonely

Pumps are puking in the

Ladies’ room with panties

named Pink, lost in the midst

of the jumble of mesh

Sneakers run unaware everywhere

Dress shoes are in the closet

Clogs are fakin’ the feet

Into performing lurid acts of

Knee highs, leather, and straps

High Tops are for hook ups

High Heels are for the cranky

Swollen members of the crowd

Floating on twisted ankles

Casuals don’t fool anyone

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Vastness

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Moons hug tightly to their brightened lovers, never letting go, gravity keeping them together. Stars and galaxies fill the void around them, flying farther and farther apart. Their vast emptiness is not an increase in solitude. The darkness is full of energies. Sometimes I wonder, can we see love not as a singular planet, but as a cosmos?

 

The Instrument (Portrait #2)

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I stumbled upon her, hidden behind a large sliding door, within the comfort of darkness, unmoved, silent.

Is that possible? She seemed so old, so incredibly old, as if one touch would turn her into dust.

And dust was inside, so much earthly powder rising, floating. I fanned it away, swiping three times. Breathless, I dared to look deeper.

For I knew this was a dust that could bite, its fangs lay into your skin so softly, you think you only have an itch, then a blinding light loosens upon you, never dimming.

I waited for the storm to settle and found her glimmer. She was naked, naked silver, like a dissected serpent, a flute, an instrument of sound, not chatter, dormant.

I’ve had enough of the latter to last all my lifetimes, but her body held certain tones of gravitation, melodies of singularity, connecting my emotion with thought, bunching up within me, squirming in my gut, rattling amongst my speculations.

My ears, I blamed for all confused utterances, yet I loved them, for they alone had the ability to divvy up beauty from all noise competing for my attention.

And now I had found her, mute, unmoved, and now my fingers brushed against the pitting of silver plate, the gilding of argent, rough greenish, blackish pits within metal and marks of ancient lips imprinted upon her embouchure.

A sound was made, shaped, guided, the union of a kiss. My lips wetted, my body moist, until they came following the sound.

And they smiled as if they loved me, stood in admiration, ready to woo me to the sound not the harmony.

She was just metal, wasn’t she? Who could love someone based upon a sound? It was not me, I swear. She developed warmth upon a touch and it was that heat they heard.

She dropped from my lips, the branches of my soul, back into the dusty dark, where I swear I loved her more than any, until another pair of ruby stained lips would press upon her neck.

Someone will jump back into that grave, looking for the flowers of her melody.

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Apprehensive Sunlight

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The floor chases the sun

Disturbing the warmth, Dust wanders

Within bent beams, embedded

In light captured heat

Moves as an animal, crawling

Never quite caught, always catching

 

Late leaves, blended with sidewalks

Attempt a crossing, through portal

Entering dry, slightly sifted

Remnants, now empty veins

Lost among the floorboards

Still trying, still trying, always trying

 

Screens are guardians, slim aluminum

Bugs not meant to be heard

Play pretend with access, asking

Confused, glancing curiosity,

Darting, from screen to screen

An escapeless web, teased by wind

 

The fireplace, forgotten tomb

Sits still, breathless, sullen

Until blown upon by suffocation

Sparks break out, wild upon the world

Die in the night, depthless deep

The morning buries them, softly

 

The sun, a cold reminder, where

Blinds attempt to illuminate

Loss of cycle, the crouching star

Until the horizon eats the beam

Spinning, spinning flat, until

Hands are rubbed together

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A World Away Means We Are Dust

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A world away

means we are dust

Showing a sign

Is a leaf in the crack of the sidewalk

 

Even if I did say

Something stupid

You know I’m true

 

Even though

I got mad

You know my heart is real

 

I’m aware

Of words

That shoot sideways

 

I’m guilty

Of saying

Things layered in misdirection

 

Even if

My tongue

Never touches yours ever again

 

Even if

My hands

Never feel the tautness of your stomach

 

I am

Your friend

Regardless of my desire

 

I am

An ear

Listening to your desires

 

But,

 

A world away

Means we are dust

 

Please,

Please,

Please,

No.