Origin

Lie upon this ragged shore
And sing me sweet forevermore
The boiling waves come burn my skin
And I can’t sleep with the dark within

Hold me close as I shut my eyes
Keep from the thirsting tides
They’ll rip and tear until I’m bone
And leave my ivory broke, alone

Take me from this shadowed place
I’ll watch the light fall upon your face
And count the hours slip away
Fragile ghosts of dawn and day

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Spare Change

What I wanted
Was to write
The lines
That would say
How I had changed
Since I walked
Out of the rain
Instead I threw
Three quarters
Into a callused palm
And continued on my way

The Other Side

Knives for teeth when they said, “Eat cake,”
And their eyes reflected an ivory tower,
The vision caught in a silver spoon they could not grasp,
That even their sugared fingers could not hold.

Still they stretched and lunged and clawed,
Until their eyes turned thin and their bodies bent,
Shaped like arch-backed cats on a crooked fence,
They’d shatter the night with their jealous wails,
A cruel song sent up shivering spines and back again.

Shrieking until the world echoed with their violent vibrations,
With knives for teeth they cried, “Eat cake,”
And watched the tower crumble into the dark ocean
From the bulging view of a spoon in a cereal bowl.

Fall in Summer

If I fell once,
I fell twice.

Under the glow of moonlit eyes,
It’s hard to see
And even worse to be heard,
But I am here in flesh and form,
A solid apparition,
Phantasmic evidence of a hollow hour.

When I cannot be believed,
Or believe in my own existence,
Glass reflections insist I am not a lie,
But I see no face on me.

So take me in and make me whole;
All the pieces that crumble in the rain
Save them in a plastic bag,
Set them under the sun and let them dry.

Though warped and bent and incomplete,
Take my pieces, one by one;
Catch them as they fall across the summer sand.

Keep them close,
Keep me close,
And we can make the shapes again.

Babylon Cradle

I want to be the echo in an empty building,
One with creaking stairs and crumbling paper,
Lining the walls of a run down city, sleeping.

Wrinkled skin and cold, dark eyes become me,
In warped mirrors of gasoline and shattered glass,
My vision twists between myself above and those below.

I can feel the waves of thundering people beneath me,
Moving in uneven rumbles of footsteps and voices,
They carry bodies heavy from living into my rooms.

I want to be the throbbing heat of a crowded building,
Holding hollow skin against my stained walls,
Carrying them through the cleansing waves of our dirty city.

I can feel the softness of their labored nights,
In the cacophony of their shallow cries I understand,
I want to be the cradle and the coffin.

Walk Me Home

Walk me home
Where the lights burn
In an orange haze
Through the icy blue
Two arms surround me
In an ocean of night

Walk me home
Where the branches bend
In the smoke of Benson Hedges
Through the grey and gold
The skies part
In the flicker of a street lamp

Walk me home
Where the asphalt glints
In the silence of the cool rain
Through the shadows
A quiet violence falls
With shaking hands I hold tight

Narrow Stairs

These narrow stairs,
Hung with ropes of vine,
Tumble through the chiaroscuro
Of leaf filtered light,
Down to the musky earth,
Whose scent permeates
In pores of mud and flesh,
Into the mouth of a beast,
Wide-eyed with a rolling stomach,
Slowly digesting us all.

Red Birds

Do I know where the lilacs grow?
Beneath the shade of long shadows,
Where twists of limp limbs intertwine,
Red birds sing on the edge of time,

“Child, child always mine,”
Soft and sweet a lullaby.
Eyes turned to a flowering sky,
“Mother, mother watch me fly.”

Do I know where the red birds go?
When earth is soft in downy snow,
Wait for the vines to green and climb,
There they’ll land in the ebbing tide.

Red

We’d wrap our plump fingers around the sun warmed berries,
Red juice staining our teeth and palms,
Eating the stolen handfuls that marked us as thieves.

Under the bridge we’d dip our hands into the cool water,
Jumping into the thin flow of the stream,
The bicycles would rumble overhead as we grabbed at crayfish.
Their little claws snapping at the twigs we prodded them with.

Lifting our knees we splashed across the rolling water,
Only to find ourselves three months older once we’d crossed.

Dahlia

Dahlia, fingers on a gun
Pull the trigger faster than I can run
Dahlia knows it has to end
But I was hoping we could pretend

Sick summer days
I’m bleeding out
Sad sweaty games
I had no doubt

Dahlia where did we go wrong?
Thought I found a place where I’d belong
Dahlia says I’ll be okay
But I know it’s a dangerous game to play

Dahlia can’t you see
It all belongs to me
The stars and sun
Lost and won
Your life and time
Dahlia you’ll be mine

Can’t we give this one last try?
Can’t you look me in the eyes
And say I’m still the same?
Dahlia please tell me and I’ll take the blame

Dahlia don’t you know it’s me?
Between the melting sugar sheets
In the air and in your breath
Where every sip of you is death
In the heat, long days unfold
These apple eyes are growing old

Dahlia, violent light and dark
Under street lamps in an empty park
Dahlia sweet and Dahlia good
Take me back, I knew you would