Temenos

There’s a metallic buzz
under the nighttime sound,
the sundown hum—
the scratchy beating of wings,
like cross-legged sitting,
singing
into whirling metal blades.
It’s a static voice,
an electric device pressed hard
against a wounded, smokey throat
to crackle thoughts.

I shoo it from my ears
like flies
when it draws too near,
when I am alone
beneath the wet darkness. Especially then.

Some of them bob like spiders,
spin their webs—
almost invisible until they catch,
cling, and coat
your eyes and mouth,
leave you sputtering.
They hang between the trees
like small suicides
and sometimes catch a breeze
for a swing
but mostly net.

Some need like fathers:
distant but vigilant, selfish,
protective sometimes
if it serves them;
critical but stoic;
kind,
when it serves them;
they cherry-pick their food.
They pick their teeth with tiny bones
and smell like tobacco.
Some of them are blue and cold.
They purple our toes, chatter our teeth.
They season us with oneiric teases
but keep good distance, wise,
and only watching,
only watching
so they feel like Time.

Some are red and burn.
They set everything on fire
and take us back to black tar,
to dirt and simple need.
Warm seduction,
there is little of them left
either
at the end of things.
(Dark Matter
is warm not cold
on that plane.)

Some are fat as babies,
giants, hungry and propped-up
on hospital beds.
They wait for death
with their big thumbs
pressed on morphine triggers
when it’s not between their gums
or pressed inside to sex.

They catalog death, the ways we die.
The boring ways, the ways forgotten
and ignored, the absurd,
the pathetic.
When we’ve forgotten,
they take turns
turning pages.
They take turns.
And they always dream on paper.

FireShot Capture - In the Image of God_ John Comenius and _ - http___publicdomainreview.org_2014_0

John Comenius (Public Domain Review) 

 

In the Fields, Growing Green

Take the biting creatures
netted from the brackish water
in the bay
and carry them, still writhing,
to the empty fields
where they’ll rot in the Sun.
Let them feed the earth if it’s hungry,
and what’s beneath (if it’s hungry),
and come again at daybreak to gather-up
the bones.

Smell the edges of decay
through the open windows, the curtains
tied back with silk sashes,
breeze-blowing:

what was half-salted
and thrived in that warm water,
in that living soup,
what fed the hungry lips
beneath the surface, angled teeth,
now oozes swampy green, then black,
then turns red dirt.

Take a walk
through those soppy fields
at daybreak, when droplets hang
from drooping leaves.
When steam rises
between the browning windrows,
remember that there is
something breathing there
just beneath your feet.

Take a walk again at sunset,
after the grass has cooled quite a bit.
See it sweat again soon, ready for night,
ready for the crickets
and sing-song cicadas,
ready for the things
that raise their quick little heads,
more confident come dark.
Wait for the sound of screeching owls
and throaty frog sex.

The holes are everywhere.
Watch your step.

They thrive on nothing, wanting;
they take whatever’s left behind.
See the holes too big for rodents,
far too big.
Watch, now, and be careful
not to turn your ankle
when you’re stepping so far down.