She writes, she dreams,
In dark carnival scenes
Mad-toothed barkers, twisted mirrors,
Remorseless, deathless terrors
In suspended animation-
I shared in her damnation:
It’s all true, in sideways shards
Where truth leaves truth marred
Where mothers’ lips fuel hearses;
Where mothers’ tongues drip curses
And hunger puts its fist in baby-bellies
And the cold pulls warriors to felled knees,
And bruises, like tribal tattoos, shine
Flaunting hell in knuckle-designs
Barkers estimating height, and weight,
And every flaw, sin, or mistake
Stench and stale smothering
Tender skin succumbed to stings
Of ruthless consumption and defacement:
Run-down rides in broken-down basements.
And she writes with teeth still piercing skin,
Like goodness died, and carnies win,
And I need You to be You again-
The unchangeable God: the same
Yesterday, today, and always.
And the days are kind.
But I feel them- blind
Which need saying?
You write from a different state,
And my love still smolders,
But no longer can these shoulders
Carry the heavy weight:
Admission to your spinning fête.
A carnival empire
Begging to be spared
From a survival-bent liar:
Unwitting victim and victimizer.
You stand as your own narrator
Proclaiming all you’ve accomplished
I’m a forced-accomplice
But what do you say to your Creator?
Do you say to the Lord
”Look at all I’ve done in Your name?”
We both know that refrain
Strikes the wrong chord,
And costs more than you can afford.
So why do you fill these days
Practicing it in rote?
A demanding gloat
Or an empty craze:
An entry-fee of praise.
I’m worried sick about you.
You’re old, and you’re ill,
And you’re unchanged still.
With all time put us both through,
You will not be subdued-
Thirty-eight years askew,
But I do care, and I will,
Because I love you still.
When the fog was lightly lifting,
And the sun came stretching through,
Like some ancient seed of hope
Breaking ground and blooming new,
The fresh life in my arms
Brought back forgotten days with you
I yearned to answer light with light,
To lift the mist atop your years
Returning kindness, even joy,
As the confident victor over fear
And in the silence of my words,
I reached to pull you near.
Three days past:
Remembrances of why we sever ties.
Three days past,
You sent the threats and lies
The creeping fog
Which has capsized us.
How can any sunrise break
Into the fog that takes you?
It isn’t fair of frame.
There must have been a day
You wiped drool from my face
And I’m not there to do the same.
It isn’t sound.
You must have stooped to ground
When I toddled down
Below the crowds.
It stands askew.
Before I ate solid foods,
I subsisted off you
And who leads you through?
It’s enough cost:
The years we’ve lost
After the bottles were tossed
And before your vigor exhausted.
It totters in the wind.
Inequalities sting like sin-
Yours or mine, I can’t defend-
But I see all that’s bent
And bowed low.