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Posts Tagged ‘death’

A rose flattened into math
under the weight of a book on Ingres.
All the pretension of depth and curve
shown to be illusion
by a French master’s authentic love of deception.
Her petals, hips, and stem
all numbers determined by logic
no matter how wild, majestic, and unpredictable
their beauty.

Her history from seed, to plant, to flower,
to a cut beyond death and into a vase
can be viewed as destiny or chaos.
The words you water her with determine
how you will see her. Why this one, of the dozen
bundled at the foot of a coffin.
Babies breathing in soft white bubbles
singing, if not commanding you into the rocks.

The meaning of the world,
is the separation of wish and fact.
A flat rose. A dark smudge
on a yellow book. A mouthful of dirt.

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Honor, it seems, has been transcribed below
written into the shadows under the stone.
He dared to go where we did not follow –
Content to stand watch as he went alone.

What good will come from this last addition
when in adding we find less.
Our Valkyrie, heir to wars tradition
has no strength left to confess.

Nature remains as silent as the flow’rs
who strongly number the fertile bed
Call to arms our sons and daughters –
Perhaps they can fight for us instead.

How can we be content to mourn this ghost
At the hour when we need his strength the most?

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Burn it when I go

Kafka once said
“Burn it when I go”
and I agree.

Stuff it in a tower,
light it before a mirror
and use it to tame the sea.

I folded my words
to push against the water
so the tide and I could flow

But when I die, it will
become a bridge
so burn it when I go.

Thomas Aquinas once said:
“Burn it all like straw”
and I agree.

I reaped enough
to stay alive,
but it fed only me.

I lasted long enough
to see the whole world
and love everything I saw.

So gather these things
against my silent chest
and burn it all like straw.

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That summer my beliefs
so consumed me
that
I created reality
rather than experience it.

Fury. Nothing significant.
A beating fist pounding
between heart and God.
Iambic confessions
first inward, then skyward.

My foot alternated the breaks
until warning lights
and break pads wore to nothing.
I drove that leprous scrap yard
into every summer night.

The shadow always chased
the car. My car couldn’t grasp
its impending death and so
worked harder the more it failed.
The rosary swayed with every hard start.

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Outlasting Life

Make-up was her second face
for years. She lightly applied
blush for rosy cheeks. Perhaps
embarrassment or coyness.
A spent life being overturned
scrounging for seconds like change.
Another foundation, another skin tone
supplement to confer humanity.
His dead body survives for another night’s
celebration because of her art.
She kisses his cold lips and counts the remaining
seconds until work is over.

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He pats
a slow beat
on canvas so tight
it could be a drum.
His brushing fingers
leaving invisible
lines in the natural oils
of her body,
barely clinging to existence.
Creation and destruction
in the valley of her lower back.

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After Shock

We stood in shock.
Our city in flames.
Praying for rain.
Until the flood came.
We took shelter in the church.
Hallelujah.

We died in shock.
Laid to rest by
our shocked friends.
Pennies on our
eyes trembling
from waking terrors.
In nomine Patris.

Wet ghoulish faces
sipped soup from cracked
bowls on those Lisbon night
too shocked to care about
its salty broth stinging
like sea water in their lungs.
Amen. Amen.

History connects
like an equator.
That costal giant
and those of us
on this island.
The same Latin
songs from soggy
hymnals comfort
us until we can get
back to our normal lives.

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