La lune

The moon gleams in dolorous waves,
lulling the sea to sleep in the still muted
tide of night. Everything is quiet, slipping
into darkness, stupefied by dreams. Everything
spilling towards daybreak. Hush, hush. Listen
to the murmur of mice in their midnight beds,
the berceuse of night-blooming flowers, craning
towards the celestial. Listen to the hymns of
dark woods, the siren song of the salt sea, rippling
lyrics of love to mermaids. Now the owl puts forth
his question, which is answered by shadow
and a kind of gravity made possible
only by starlight.

nightscape with roses

I will grow into something with slit eyes,
a cat, perhaps, or a snake.

I have a serpentine cunning
and nine feline lives.

I watch the moon and wait, lurk behind
potted plants and curtains, bide my time.

My mother tells me curiosity will kill me.
I am almost tempted to ask her why.

The trees are on edge with the abeyance
of wind. This is when I am most myself.

I imagine death is a tunnel
through which no wind blows,

or a man, tall, dark, handsome,
his eyes yellow with jaundice.

He likes to count down the lives for me,
a rose for each. Every time a rose goes out

I smile. Besides, I like the smell of rotting.
It jolts me out of this skin, this life.

Raw, bloodless, I am like a cutlet of
some meat. Veins run through me, pink and hollow.

No wind blows. Nine times I am passed through fire.
After I’m purer than God, I puke in the toilet.

Death holds my hair. Smiles, though it
doesn’t quite reach his eyes.

My mother greets me in dreams. I’ve been
looking for you, she says. Where’ve you been?

I don’t know, I lie. She smells my breath
but says nothing, only smiles a sad, soft smile.

I wake up, brush my teeth, sort through the mail.
In the mirror my eyes are keyholes, double slits.

I have grown into something on the edge
of terror. After I’ve been clarified like butter

I sit and watch the trees. The trees like veins.
No sound when the wind blows through.

Death gives me a rose.
I grew it, he says. From a corpse.

Here.
Just for you.

Radiator

There’s a single radiating silence that sets in
into your ears when everyone else’s asleep
You can’t pay too much attention to it
otherwise you’ll bore holes in your ears

It’s nice to have a handful of peace
It’s nice to have a handful of swollen letters
and it’s nice to have a fleshy handful of bruised heart
squeezing out between your fingers like a fruit,
damaged and half-alive, half-ticking, half-riotous

You can’t remember the reason for it
because reason doesn’t exist here anymore
not on this side of the empty room
which we once called solitude
which now leaps like a hysterical pulse

A Nighttime Reflection

I wheeled with the infinite celestial precision of the starts, the universe collapsed downwards onto my being, a stack of matryoshka dolls, each entombing the last. I held the flowery patterns of light and shadow in my hand and felt I was acting out my own death as some sort of morbid rehearsal. In this sempiternal night, light threw a certain kind of harshness, separating each object from the next by blade of the sword. My dreams, too, were subjected to this same practice, and at last, I could see each clearly for what it was. In the morning, I knew I would not find such a clarity. My eyelashes caught rainbows on their ends and blurred them into camera aperture circularity; the field of the kaleidoscope danced with every angle and movement of my head. I feel eternal tonight, the stuff of stars scientists tell us we are. Who knew? Who knew?