a new generation of dreamers

our children make the most succulent offerings.
their prized qualities:
firm lush bodies, moist fat,
not an ounce of bitterness or tension.
little to no resistance to the industrious blades
that glide between lace ribs.
too young to speak for themselves.
we weep and rage and shake our fists,
yet still we bind them to the altar
and call the cabal in,
see our stainless steel fathers kiss their little hearts
and feel the iron scars in our.
if our children knew what we did to them,
how they’d howl.
how they’d plead with us to stop,
and how we would crumble beneath the weight of pain
and obey.
good thing for us
they’re too young to speak.

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all that is necessary

is a single lapse of conversation
for the inexorable drip
of silence
following silence
to flow together over time
in an erosion of tongue and throat
until every syllable gurgles an anarchy of noise
and every word drops away
into a bottomless well of corpses
with all the weight and meaning
of a pocketful of stones.

you, full grown

i died the night they brought you home
entombed in stone,
full-grown,
or as grown as i had ever known.

the wailing was heard round the globe–
the keening of a sick girl’s voice,
emotion to be unseen, unshown,
watered down with salt and wine
’til none of it is told or known–
but couldn’t reach where you had flown.
i would have fled,
i would have run
if this i could unmake, unknow.

i grew you from a seed, a clone,
a cherry pit,
a word disowned.
you, little sprout, so calm and slow
who cut through ice,
who cut through stone.
i didn’t mean to fall in love
but love was in me
(how could i know?)
cancer in the marrow of my bone.

you’d eat me, papa told me,
and he was right, he’d somehow known.
look at me now: a weathered crone
before my time, hollow as a bird
and voiceless, wordless.
all i do is moan.
oh, papa would have sighed,
if only he had known.

i’d have let you wither
had i known, had i known.
but who would have guessed,
who would have known,
that a seed can grow through stone,
that love is cancer in the bone?
i didn’t–i don’t.
it’s not fair at all, but oh,
i should have known i should have known.

i can climb a mountain

 

18-03-11 I Can Climb a Mountain

 

“I can climb a mountain,”
Said the young boy, looking up.
“A heap of rocks is no big deal
So long’s I don’t let up.”

Yet though undaunted he did climb,
The slopes were slick and steep.
Again, again, he slipped and fell
And landed in a heap.

With fierce determination
He sprang back to his feet.
“One day,” he vowed, “I’ll reach the top.
No mountain’s got me beat.”
*

“I can climb a mountain,”
Said the young man, narrow-eyed,
“But first I need some numbers
on other who have tried.”

“I need the cost analysis,
the value and reward.
Else what’s the point in climbing,
If there’s no win in store?”

“Besides, I have some chores to run
And overtime at do.
But let me check my schedule
And I’ll get back to you.”
*

“I can climb a mountain,”
Said the old man, thin and grey.
“Or once upon a time, at least,
I thought there was a way.”

“It’s all because of others
Who tried to hold me down.
It’s not my fault, I swear to God,
I never left the ground.”

“In fact I still would climb it,
Except my memory’s no good.
You see, I can’t quite recollect
Just where that mountain stood.”

secondhand smoke

i know you can taste it,
the poison that I swallowed down.
you like it, don’t you?
(i know you do.)

the bitter taste that coats your throat
(but so good, it burns so sweet)?
how it makes your stomach burn
(but warm, like whiskey neat)?
yeah i know you like it,
this medicine i drink.

you feel it, don’t you,
how i tingle when we kiss,
i make your sense going dead,
just like you like it, no?
you want more? (i know you do.)
come here, baby, i’ve got something else to show you.

dinner with my mother’s daughter

how undeniably correct we sit,
elbows off the linen and backs molded into the shapes of our chairs.
face to face for the first time in years, we reach out across a gulf of soup tureens.
see: you and i, our glasses laced with cultured rot,
and our mouths pressed tight against an accidental intake of nourishment.
between us lies an immutable hardwood slab and its forest of china,
candle flames wide-accusing eyes glaring in all directions.

the invitation, extended; the acceptance, inevitable.
decorum dictated our responses.
we did not want to be here, we could not refuse.
the careful avoidance of bad taste, the manners that offended and enraged–
overwhelming trivialities that cannot, that have to be, ignored.
hunger gnawing me to the bone, i had to relearn how to play nice,
and all the while sharpened silverware inches from my hand.

how easy to to sip in small spoonfuls, to remember which hand holds the knife.
you–the flawless visitor, the perfect dinner guest–
are so exactly the way i remember.
your manners make it so very easy to be polite,
so very easy to scoop you onto the flawless tablecloth and serve you whole,
my steak knife carving roasts from your thighs,
my dessert spoon gouging sweetbreads and viscera for a palate cleanser,
my salad fork buried in flesh that shrieks, writhes, and erupts with an aroma of mesquite-grilled pork.
no, it doesn’t pain me at all.

i devour you in small, neat bites, exactly as we’d both been taught.
it’s not murder, it’s an act of mercy,
your skin flensed back in artful patterns
and your flesh floating in red wine sauce pungent with too few years.
pain toughens the meat to bitter string and yet i choke you down,
weeping, belly bloating until i can’t stand the taste of you.

how still you lay, how neatly arranged for my consumption.
unresisting but reproachful, eyes accusing as you smile and chant,
it’s okay/i don’t blame you/it’s all your fault.

i never wanted to do this to you, but it had to be done.
i didn’t choose to be here, but mother made me come.