Monthly Archives: September 2017

Shrouded

Your sorrow becomes
our shroud. So soft

a word for something
that feels like wounds,

like shredding, as if
what’s left of us

has shrunk to a child
costumed for play

in mummy wrappings,
or zombie rags,

half dead, half alive,
wordless and hurt;

a night’s revenant,
a grey shadow

blotting out color,
wincing as dawn

approaches. The winds
weep gustily

as they blow onward
and inland. Each

soft sound a lash. Each
breath a damp ache,

a throb, a struggle.
The canopy

of grey clouds covers
miles like heavy

brocade. Diminished,
the fury ebbs

and fades in its own
time. Fragments fall

from the sky like fists,
like lost treasures,

forgotten wonders.
It’s time. A rock

sits perfectly still
on the edge of

a precipice, mute,
crevices guiding

dewdrops downward,
carving a path through

the open air

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Our Lady of Drowning 

I can feel you 

drowning. The thickness 

of memories 

no longer fluid, 

growing sluggish 

and solid as we 

watch. The pale dust 

of skin once plump, taut, 

and elastic 

now stretched thin, garments 

threadbare, house emptied.  

All the dark deep 

that shimmers with blue 

(ultramarine blooms, 

cobalt petals, 

cornflower eyes, and

azure hair fade

like dreams, a cascade 

of starlight cuts 

like knives, soft bruises 

swell under skin). 

I feel you drowning. 

Choking, swimming 

in sadness that roars 

with silence like rage 

of an undertow. 

Current and wind 

suck the faith out 

from under our feet, 

leaving quicksand 

and sludge. I try 

to reach out, to 

grab onto you. You 

beat my hands away. 

There isn’t much 

time. I try again, 

casting a stiff rope 

of awkward words 

tied in circles, 

wanting to catch you. 

I feel you, I 

feel you, but you can’t 

tell I am there. 

I feel you drowning. 

I feel the air 

around me too thick 

to breathe. I am 

drowning, too, helpless 

to change things. Waves 

that wash you away 

catch me up, drag 

me with you. Oh, 

the blue, the blue 

that breaks at the edge

between water 

and sky, and dissolves.