and vespertine seclusion,
the translucent interspace
between pipe dreams
and gaunt reality.
A tempest of technicolor chaos
and fractured interims
tainted by inkstained
Draw the curtains shut
so the grim streetlight can’t reveal
what I’m asking to ignore.
Close the door behind you
and lock me into an opiate
quarantine of revery,
of perfect memory.
The gentle surreality
of your phantasmal embrace
this perilous solitude
nor the mournful sunrise
that brings these
wounds into light.
I wrote of you.
the deathrush of your trembling hand
a terrible slash of vengeance and silver
that drew a thin lash
of rancid blood
on your tempestuous heart.
Today I wrote of you
and at once you drew away
the winding sheet of memory,
asked me again to remember
the night I became
Diana’s inverse twin,
of my murdered covenant,
and the seraphic nightingales
that sang to me from the doorway.
I had almost forgotten.
You knew better than to amend
the shredded hope of your juvenescence,
to abide the ghastly concupiscence,
the divulge of wine-stench flesh
into your innocence,
the sacred purloin
of your nethermost.
You kept a knife by your bedside
and with the thumbscrews of his promise
in your fingertips,
cried the truth again
You did not slash his face
into the shadows,
but pointed your unadorned hand
and called him by name,
immortalized his ignominy
and your own unconscionable fortitude
in every stroke
of crushed petals and blood.
Teach me, Artemisia
how to come to arms
to throw open the drawer
and take hold of my hate
how to paint his face
upon the tableau of history
and seize my own wretched ghosts
as allies for every woman
who sleeps with silver under her sheets.
Vertiginous welter of lingual interplay,
and my head’s rolling on its brittle axis
and I’m stumbling through a labyrinth
of demiurge illuminations and taciturn mouths.
And as hours flee from the crepuscule of hope to starless void
I’m chasing whispers that evaporate
into august nothingness,
scraps of meaning that flee from urgent fingertips.
The sedulous persistence that brought me to this
apogee of babylonian damnation
won’t break my fall.
Do you understand what I’m trying to say ?
These walls know something you don’t honey,
and you better get used to it,
pressing your fingers to the cracks,
asking for doors
where there’s only ever been
millennia of unutterable secrets.
Indelible quiescence carved into a sibylline face.
You’re a half-raised fist, ill-fated gesticulations
infantile phrases that can barely
make it past your quivering lips.
Does anyone comprehend a smile these days?
I don’t need fervent pantomime to make my point,
or to implore the strange antique portal
trembling in its obdurate frame.
Just tell me that you’ve been there,
on the tremulous crossway between illumination
and dismal obscurity,
that belligerent skulls of ireful diatribes
never forced your eyes to the ground,
that you know these roads and streetposts
even if you never found out the name
of the ancient stones rolling on under your feet.