Black hibiscus

Later-development-of-MOURNING-themeThe flower is black

it looks like a dark purple that has never

seen day

a velvet dress with stamen

the petals are erotic and familiar

with your need and your thirst

you could be a hummingbird

too fast in your urge

and the black flower

may be a hybrid

not entirely natural

its size and grandeur mark it

impossible of nature

you should be outraged

but amazement overtakes protest

after all … apple trees have long been fiddled with

the melding of one with another to cause

grafted sweetness

the same is true of all we deem

natural

they have told you many times

you are not quite earthbound

so why then should it matter?

if beauty is not entirely dictate by natures rule

but the tinkering thumb of man

so like the softness of a diaphanous dress

you shall wear once

on the day of your marriage

when you give your hand

not yet marred by sun

still unclaimed and unburnt

and this day, you are plucked

to be admired afterward

pressed behind glass

a flower blooming

in darkness

L’enfant sauvage

CruciformLast night I felt fire

inhabited my chest

my breasts burned as if they had caught a heavy sickness

I tore my clothes off and feeling the tile beneath my feet I stood

feeling prickling across my hot skin

watching the electric storm rake dark sky

wondering my part in anything if at all

or why

some days we feel such clamouring disturbance

deep in ourselves as if someone else

is trying to get out or some displacement, some wrong

as yet unfound pulls our string

what is the mix of this temperament and how

do we stay still when everything is at once uneasy and fraught

an inner lament bound with wire

the hairs on my arms standing up

watching time spin over head

I couldn’t concentrate or think

it was as if all higher function were lost

returning me to who I was

in instinct

crouching naked beneath lightning

like a feral being

nothing in my mind except a longing

to tear through the artifice

strip myself of those conscious things

fear and routine, habits and awareness

I longed to return to that

stark undimmed polar

of reaction and gut

shaping my response

who needs all the books and learning

let us stand once more

stark against thunder

and roar
sate our anxieties and the ever-present woes of our world

on the savagery of relenting

giving over our human skin

hanging it on the post

dropping our keys and footprints

to streak instinctive and returned to wild

across the green

blurring with rain and rush of leaves

gone from our homes

the doors stand

open

and soon

all is wet

all is calm

In claiming my savagery

I find peace

Calypso

under-the-old-appletreeThe Gotan Project

reverberating tangoed reggae

the summer we spilled from the first floor

as steel bands pass by in their smart costumes

shiny buttons gleaming against oiled skin

feathered masks and sarsaparilla staining mouths

learning calypso had been the moment

I slipped from one world to the next

we listen peaceably

I tap the point of my shoe and then my heel

like when I wore coins on my sole

you have an oxygen tube in your nose

the bags beneath your eyes are gathering wool

serving your country leveled your ability

for small talk

but music can make strange bed fellows of us

you say

is this Spanish?

I confess I’m unsure

of the exact ingredient

isn’t that true of so much these days?

you snort and for a moment I worry

your beliefs are in line with segregation

until you unfold the photo

of your curly-haired children

their ebony mother with her muscular neck

crossed with sea pearls and a faraway gaze

salt breeze bleaching the tips of fingers

it’s them that keeps me going

you say and your eyes are veined and bright

for a moment as if you absorbed the joy

of love and it healed you

rising from mirthless wheelchair

we shift dry footed across lino floor

whisking it fast with purpose

I am spilling in scarlet, you in patent tux

your hair a wild brillo sheen

the world of what was and what is

flickering beneath rhythmic eye lids

 

Now

4617517731She took her cod liver oil

laced her shoes in the dark

completed her paper round

spread her legs for the gynecologist

and occasionally, her husband

dutifully wiped enough asses

to qualify for sainthood

but life said

we don’t feel like being fair

you ate three biscuits when you were ten

that were not yours to eat

and you didn’t tell a soul least of all your grandmother

who would have slapped your wrists with her nylon slipper

greedy girls don’t find husbands!

greedy girls don’t go to heaven!

since then you didn’t take more than your portion

gave away your just desserts

why then should you bend over once more?

no, you say

I think I’ll stop carrying the world on my shoulders

because tomorrow may be the day I’m diagnosed or

a bus will hit me as I cross the street or

I may be tempted to eat 3 fairy cakes

we must live now

in the heat of our step

never unwilling to let go

and dance to the quiet music

in our heads

Command

9edcc63634776b74ee5539c5d4f18ce7She sat

the leather of the chair

damp beneath her

no underwear

revealed in candle light

a straight spine

a crouching mind

she obeyed

not for fear or need to ruin

but the sheer freedom of feeling

her knees rub against carpet

her mouth close upon bit

her eyes lost beneath satin

she knew

when it came

the lash would last

as long as forever

the welt may diminish

the pain may recede

still she could feel

the weight of regard

afixed to her as light of fire place

illuminated what she could not

her darkness exposed

take what you will

take what she cannot give

willingly

and in setting her free

she is within and without cage

able at last

to feel the breadth of herself

by your regard she finds reflection

not the echo she reinterprets

there in the scour of past

but the lover

piece by piece she learns

to offer her secrets

for trust is earned

in every move toward

the command

The unhealed

image1-3-1-e1453751898625

If you opened me up

maybe with a zip or a crow bar

it is my belief inside I would be

eighty percent water from the sea

and twenty percent ghosts

who upon being freed

would walk away and let me be

so when I look longingly

at your scalpel or your blade

it is not because I wish to meet my maker

not yet anyway

but the irresistible urge to be freed

of these ghosts who pinch and knead

even if you fitted a zip dear sir

or inserted a pipe to let the smoke pour

anything would be preferable to this canker

an ulcer of lament forming malcontent

they weigh a lot for emotions past tense

no matter how hard I try they gain the upper hand

that’s what happens when your body is a grave yard

for souls who ripped you apart

you carry your history like a series of scars

nobody can see, they think you’re doing well

underneath your sequins it’s a bloody hell

sometimes I wish you could see how I feel

the cavernous maw of the unhealed

they don’t let go of my throat with their squeeze

when people jump I’m not surprised

who can live with such unease?

the ghosts inside us, reminding we’re never free

until we vanquish their poison

so give me some mercy

let them out

I would like to fly

but I have lost the ability to float

Used to

938271-4096That time

I cut my hair with rusty sheers

just to avoid

hurting you

easier to take it out on myself

rejection makes me a fool

this time

I cut my hair properly and it looked

better than it had since my eyes

did not require to appear full of hope

you always wanted me to keep it long

so I could not see my way out

I stayed

far too still

warm in the notion

you cared

when you had left

long before

and the chill

became something

I was used to