Night Vision

The pill that tastes like mint
melts under my tongue,
and I am fearful
of what’s to come.

Nonetheless,
I close my eyes
and my lids flutter
as I dream
of impossible things
that are too real
to be fiction.

I hear the rumble
of granite boulders
rolling as lemmings
through a field of
yellow flowers,
wearing ugly smirks
that bring me
to my knees
as I watch a little girl
who is about to
be crushed.

I die on a rooftop
in a leather jacket
and black boots.
I wake on the same roof
in the snow
many years in the future.
Beyond the evergreen forest
and sloping hills,
is a frozen tsunami wave
cresting so high
it nearly touches the sun.

And then I awaken,
my eyes bleary
and head filled with dreams
of what dark worlds
may come.

A Disappointing Party

We wear funny hats
and shoes
at the paned window
as we look out across the lawn
in twilight’s spell.
This is your club
and your friends.
I am a guest,
the last one to choose
the shoes from in the trunk
that don’t match.
They’re the wrong
color,
and too big
for my feet.
The hat is felt
with soft lines that
sit on my head
like a lizard
curling on a rock
in the sun.
But there is only lamplight
at your party.
There’s also a record player
that skips.
I can feel your presence
behind me,
pausing in the doorway.
As I turn,
so do you,
and our gazes
never meet.
Why don’t you say anything?
You have always been
disappointing.

Last Supper

Under the full moon,
on the floor of the Subaru Outback with leather seats and a back up cam,
are the remains of a chili cheese hot dog from 7-Eleven;
an empty bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos;
a Charleston Chew wrapper (cherry flavored);
a medium-sized Shamrock Shake partially consumed, tipped on its side;
Marlboro Light butts in the dips of the emergency break;
a PBR tall boy tossed into a child’s car seat;
an empty bottle of Wild Turkey nestled in a blanket stinking of dog breath.
There’s a cell phone with a cracked screen and a text from Maura reading,
“Taking kids to mom’s. Don’t call.”
Once the man looked like Chandler Bing,
now he’s melted on the dashboard of a car
where a tree stopped him cold.
There is nothing in the trunk.

Nirvana

Words have never been spoken 
inside this temple 
with a glass-domed ceiling 
where sunlight falls 
in an eddy 
onto the stone floors
of sprouting moss.

The damp air trembles 
and the columns
bend at the echo
of my footsteps.

Who are you? 
Why do you come?

Secrets reside here.

I remove my sandals 
and sit in the center 
where a blanket
and a rib cage
gather dust.

You are nothing but bones!
You will fall too!
Just like she who came before!

I close my eyes
and wait for
the monkeys
to stop chattering.

When the temple has settled
and the remains
have grown accustomed
to my presence,
I bask in the stillness.

It could take a lifetime,
or three,
to reach nirvana.

Sway

My fractured sun light.
My cold breeze.
Mon amore.
Je t’aime, baby.
Always.
Tous les jours noirs.
Every bright day.
My long green grass.
My errant weed.
My Crayola sky.
My apocalyptic storm.
Ourage.
Je t’aime, baby.
I love you.

When I Lived in the Desert

Once in a previous life,
I saw muslin drapes
billowing in a room
with white-washed walls
and wooden furniture
where a pitcher of water
sat on a stand
near the door.

There in that room
I lay dying
on a bed of
rough-hewn pillows
and thin sheets
that gathered at my ankles.

The curtains caught in the
the breeze and billowed
to and fro,
so that I could see the
cobalt sky and gray clouds
lined with golden sunlight
which spoke to me.

The clouds were sad
to hear of my
imminent departure,
and wished me well
in my next chapter,
for they had been
watching and guiding me
for many years.

This was quite unlike
the greedy stares
of my brothers who
surrounded my bedside,
staring down at me,
hands inside their robes,
hoods lowered,
words hushed,
faces featureless in my
fevered mind.

Traitors, all of them.

They did not carry
the Book
under the bleating sun
through the desert
in leather sandals
so worn that were it
not undignified
to have no shoes,
I would have left
them there in the
sea of sand.

My brothers did not
burn and peel,
nor feel
their tongue swell,
their mouth turn to plaster,
watch their ribs grow
in gnawing hunger,
only to stumble into
the Sacred City some
weeks later,
a worn rag of flesh.

They did not make
this Sacrifice.

Now, when I think of
the Book,
I see my hands turning its
thick pages that crack
with dryness under the sun.

The text is in a language
I do not understand,
but I know it speaks
the Truth,
which is Holy,
and a rarity
in any day.

My brothers,
these men who look
down at me dying,
like famished dogs
fighting over a carcass,
they only want my
place at the Temple
when I am gone.

And my heart
is blackened.

Dandelions

Bury me with her
When the wind blows again
Like it did back then.
Summer on the plains
Tall grass at my knees
Dandelions soft and gray,
Taking flight into the breeze
That tangles my hair.

My feet are silent,
Wrapped in skin
As the sound of a steam engine
Chugging on a rusty track
Rattles my ears.
Sky is still, blue, warm.
Clouds like kites
Wisps of white, spun sugar
Brushing my fingertips.

She lies near here,
By the three tall timbers
That were once a barn.
When the day is like my dreams,
And the land has ripened,
After I am old.
Bury me with her,
I will never leave again.