The Shadow Of Absent Things


I can smell the brown sugar
Melting in my tea pot
And I am rooted
Between two oak trees
Made immovable
By the stone lips oaring my depths
Reaching for the sky silhouetted against me
But the ache of it does not feel like tooth decay
Nor the pleasure makes me shiver and rain
Glass beads and spirit of grain
Into the hands of praying men

I can feel my skin
Breathing under your fingernails
Like snail on a hot tar road
While your voice in my ear
Whisper garbage
Something about me, my hair,
My face and the rest
Of me but not about
As if your eyes are nothing but mirror
Or old shoes spit polished this morning
And my heart wanders like flies on foodstuffs
Unable to digest
The truth of you touching me
In and beyond
Anymore

Steel on the tip of my tongue
Marble on the base of my back
I am pierced and pinned to the pedestal
A naked butterfly
At once transparent and tarnished
Bruised, battered and bludgeoned into being;
Beautiful sans beauty

So I stare like a light bulb numb in its holder:
The roof is blank
A grey slate
False sky
Absent mind
White chessboard
And the omniscient blind

The Sailor

There was dust upon his eyebrows
And stars under his eye
Each for one color of the rainbow
Taped to the woolen sky
I was swimming on a rose bridge
And saw him drink the sea
He was a dolphin from the desert
Dressed as a honeybee

So I fell for him forever
Like lovers on rainy night
And my heart was Christmas carol
Raw as Eve’s apple bite
Thus we drowned in whispering voices
Pouring out our crystal skin
There were wings upon our shoulders
And a shared velvet fin

But the man he was a sailor
With a thirst for sea green ocean
All I had was sky blue eyes
And a sense of moonlight motion
So I kissed his salt shaped lips
And set his anchor free
And I watched him drift asleep
On a heavy wooden sea
Now I am swimming on a rose bridge
Alone on rainy night
And I have apples around my ankles
But no heart to leave a bite

Kohl

There is shadow under her eyes
Eclipses she called them
From the tears left behind
Of the pain that came far too late
To flow and feel with the pulse of time

I look at her bare back
With the bedsheet pattern
Still alive on her skin
The crests of her shoulders
Peeking like crescent moons
From under the sea of argent hair

So I turn away
To another day
A still life, blur, Monet.
Years ago to this Tinseltown:
People leaping out of their skins
Skeletons dancing in glass cases
The enamel skulls selling
A hollow reed laugh
And a touch at the base of your spine
As a keepsake

She was standing
Under the irreparable light
Doused in city flames
And dressed in the dark left behind by dirty minds,
Counting cars that passed
Without halting for her

My feet were silent
My thoughts far too loud
As I hovered round her shadow
Like a leftover cloud
With neither thunder nor rain
In the threads of my vein
But the promise of a shade
And the warmth of a bed

It’s been years since that night
And every night since then
Whence I swallowed her sorrow
And she pardoned my pain
And together we have slept
Counting each other’s scar
Some dealt amongst us
Others unremembered for far
And yet I can hear her
Counting cars passing by
And there are eclipses under her eyes
From all the kohl she forgot to dry…