Madonna, Causa Salutis
Lights spiral madly against the bottomless black air.
Violent reds and blues pit savagely against one another,
Lusting to seek some hidden surface to illuminate.
The wailing siren trills a haunting lullaby.
It echoes warily into the heavens,
Warbling warnings to He who alights among the stars.
She clutches the Bundle closer to her chest.
Glad for the sleepy silence of the Life she carries,
She rocks slowly. She is careful not to make a sound.
Her knees are bloody in the dirt.
She cringes against the sudden sweep of relentless radiance by her face.
Fulgid red and blue burn themselves upon her retinas.
Closing her eyes, she inhales the bitter night air.
Too close. She is swaying.
Her cracking lips form silent, fervent words.
The Air compels her.
It creeps down her throat and knits itself into her spine.
Her nerves sting beneath her skin.
Still and insignificant in the vastness of the night,
The Word slows her heartbeat and calms her breathing.
There is movement in the pulsating warmth beside her breast.
Consummate and vulnerable and hers, He is All
That keeps her aching bones from clattering at her feet.
The lights extinguish with a click.
The piercing shout of the siren deteriorates upon the air.
Dull footfalls and subdued voices whisper in the blackness.
Tires scream loudly against the asphalt and
Suddenly there remains only dark, ringing silence.
She revels in it and she Runs.
Rainy Day Warfare
This grey daytime,
Volleying fat water droplets
Like crisp, cutting
Arrows in battle
Upon the earth where
Steadfast green soldiers
March motionlessly through
The brittle, crumbling dead.
A picturesque silence
Excluding the intermittent
And pardon-me drumming
Of the more weightless wet
Weapons, sent spattering
Upon the window-pane
By the stinging seaside wind.
We drew our names into the sand that morning
When we were waiting to greet the sun.
The grey whispering of the water
Was lulling me into a shivering sleep.
All I had wanted was to sleep.
The dawn tasted bitter. Like drowning,
But you insisted you could not think
Anywhere but there,
In sight of the constant, sighing waves.
It’s only a memory, if you can remember.
The constant purls of inky green upon the shore
Have dragged away the coarse grains of gold
Where our names once intertwined,
Marring the beach with finger-painted scars that
Fade silently against a burnt orange twilight.
Silence. Deep as the dark pools of sorrow
That ripple in your eyes these days.
Silence and a cup of coffee, steaming.
The morning is brewing outside,
Fresh and warm and beautiful, even.
I do not see it I’m
Drowning (in your irises)
In a caffeine induced frenzy I am
Giving up my grudge because three days
Is hardly enough for my
Addiction, whatever the experts say.
I am not as strong as I pretend. And
Isn’t it funny? I laugh but it doesn’t agree
With the stifling silence of your frown.
It tastes rotten on my tongue.
You are stiff with melancholy again today.
Radiating misery, you are.
The sun is falling back behind the hill,
Defeated. I will keep silent again this time.
Subdued sunshine spills
From disjointed white teacups
That billow westward.
A drop of weightless radiance
Against a multifaceted facade,
Pouring out glimmers of
Refracted iridescent light.
A silent heave, and soft breath
(Perhaps from the Heavens)
Sets the intricate planes
Into a dizzying ballet.
Keeping in time with
The cacophonous morning orchestra,
An untamed spectacle of
Waltzes aimlessly upon the
Insipid sheet rock.
“Do you know,” She asks,
“That this rather marvelous aria
Moldering in the sunlight
Is composed of broken bits of my
She sighs. It’s a fact.
She fixes her hat. It sits
Askew on her mop of curls.
Her brown eyes are shallow pools of
“My pores have always been too big.”
She smiles, her laugh is loud.
The sun is rising and the tea
Isn’t quite ready yet.
The kettle whistles sadly.
“I always let things rush right through them,
And isn’t that funny, dears?”
She pours scalded steaming
Liquid into shattered teacups.
Her soul is as spoiled as the
Record, skipping under the needle.
Rubbish. Rubbish. Rubbish.
She paints her smile on her face
And nods her head to the broken
Or dysfunctional, really
To sniff around for minor infestations
Of nearly transparent tribulations
With so much purpose
That it tears your eyes and blocks your throat
With relentless agitation or
Some other overwhelming discrepancy.
She can’t help herself- at least not lately,
Not when trust that once was clawed at
Desperately has suddenly become
As austere as breathing.
It’s a virtually agonizing experience-
Inhaling these vintage breaths of fresh air
That could be abruptly snatched
Straight out of her slowly unraveling
And affectionate fingertips
At any given moment
(And her perspective is badly warped, you see)
If she ever stops fighting.
The doll is sitting; silent and still.
Breathless, its smiling cherry kisses of
China are plump and rounded.
Perfectly, eternally taciturn.
It cannot speak its mind,
But its tenuous interior is struggling,
A porcelain mess of incredible
Joy; insurmountable and fragile.
Its glass eyes, black eyes,
Are without sensation.
It is only, after all, a plaything.
Headed toward desolate entropy,
A fate unavoidable even by the dreadfully loved.