The particular maleficence of the twelfth month

The frost of a thought
of you on my lips
and that old terror
clutching my heart.
(it’s these onerous winter shadows
swallowing me again,
perennial capture and
imperfect thaw.)

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Little gods

At the whim of the hourglass
voluptuous swell recedes
into the vespertine cinch.
Sand mixed with wine
sliding into void
wicked epicurean sticking to the glass.

In the locket of my heart
a gallery of purloined
and faded faces.
Yours, I cannot bring
myself to confine
within the clasped metal door.

Here on Saturn’s auriferous doorstep I lay a rabbit-heart offering,
palpitating hope and passion’s timeless fever; I slay each vein
and ligament and photograph and bridge in a terrible burn
of penultimate illumination, cinders mounting upon holy stone.
The devoured hours rise in black plumes of diasporic ruin,
and I am kneeling in the grey refuse of this single death.
I whisper prayers onto every ember until I’ve blown away the smoke
and make sure that you, of all my fleeting treasures, turn softly in your sleep.

On the cornerstone of resolution
I carve our names into marble edifice.
Hands slim and feathered with ash
like a pair of nervous birds,
prone to slip and tremble.