Friday, December 28, 2012

Anger Flew


Anger flew from your red mouth
like a bird

shining and strong, swooping, diving
and rising to bare wings
wide as heaven, colored like flame
with a body blue and fearfully pure white
and long, flickering feathers,

and its sound was the pitch of a woman
coming home with wide eyes to ashes and black rafters
and no trace of her child,

and its delicate white bones were made of justice
and the sharpest truth.

You should have let the anger have its way with me,
let it tear through my hair and the space inside my skull.
Instead you led me out
and closed its mouth.

As the Moon


There was no sun, for it was night, but fire fidgeted
in its corner and pawed the clammy glass
like a restless child, and all our bulbs had blown right out
like broken plans, but two short candles blustering

in their rich ceramic robes chewed out the dark.
My heart became a pile of embers sighing,
my mind a withering wick choked slow by air, but you
breathed easily beside me, casual as the moon.

From a Fever


When I woke from a fever
between white walls
in a stupor I was stunned
by the sight, in empty eyes,
opposite the white covers
under which my body lay blank
and blanketed,
of war:

a battle
between hunger
and God,

and the hunger was my hunger, and the God was mine,
and the world was this world, and the fight was real,
and both won.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Besieged


I am the daughter of a strangely widowed queen,
the princess second-born of her
who wears the stars as crown
and God as shining shield

against the smoking fire-eaters, beasts
that slither from the sea and drop
like lightning out of sky, their cinder tongues
spitting ugly flags upon our land. My mother says

we’ll only have to hide about three days; she says
the monsters’ crowns, which gleam like diamonds
scattered between fat horns, are only glass.
She says Be strong and wait. But I am weak, and it has been

thousands and thousands of days; I have grown up;
and soon, soon I will be old, and the king
she keeps on telling me about, on his impossibly white horse,
will surely overlook me, if he comes at all.

I Cut Myself Shaving


Blood leaks in little rivers up to the surface
of dirty water, where steam rises in clouds
like breath from thousands of unlocked mouths
singing December.
A razor oversees everything in a lifted hand.
This one bare leg looks whiter than the left,
like Jacob stretched slick and thin and sly
beside his brother Esau, Esau wrapped
in simple passion like a goatskin coat
as early as the womb. Sometimes

having too much hair is shameful,
as shameful as lying, tooting,
or the unplucked reality of giving birth.
But lacking hair is shameful too:
Think of a face with a single eyebrow;
think of baldness; think of the men
who would never sleep with you. The razor
shines white and whetted over the sea
like the teeth of a tyrant. Hand,
be careful what you wield
and want, and why.

We Are Prophets


We are prophets of the unpopular, and we
come carrying sharp swords
and dented shields. We have said
and say again:

that bargaining blindly leads
each and every time through paper-
thin promises and fading signs
to bankruptcy,

that ecstasy in the form of
pills, promiscuity, and free-spirited
spinning over precipices will anchor you
without relief to a sinking self,

that wishful ladder-building
(with any wood but grace) will end
in flames.
We have said, and we will say again: