Coda-Switch

O, viejas de negro!

How you line the front pews

at Catholic masses

like pushers sitting on street curbs,

rolling rosary beads—

like pills of black-tar heroin—

between jonesing fingers,

craving your next fixes of salvation,

visiones de Dios.

Such beastly things

behind those lifeless veils of pitch!

Those guttural mumbles

under respiraciones y lenguas,

drunk with righteousness,

acrid and rank

with the smell of death

and the sour of Communal wine.

Spells of atonement, maybe?

Curses of chastity?

Oraciones por mi?

Oh, I think not! (Creo que no!)

Why shouldn’t our ecstasies—

in all their corporal glory—compare?

Aren’t Heaven’s truths just as easily scried

amongst kaleidoscopes

of gas-streaked street puddles…

…the glorious freckles of smooth, bare backs and shoulders…

the shapes left behind in dampened sheets the morning after?

O, divine geomancies!

How I love

(need)

our alchemy—the transmutations

of magnificent bodies of light

and living streams that shimmer hot and wet,

setting skin and lips

(nuestra piel y labios)

aflame.

All that is good is gold,

but nothing gold can stay*

for even the most treasured of God’s sparrows

fall from flight,

silently screaming,

impaling

upon the holy stabs of His Electric Crown of Thorns.

So, let’s dwell on patches of fragrant grasses

and sip (not sin) from our gardens’ springs

O, sacred elixir!

partaking of flesh and blood—

our Eucharist—

devouring, ‘til all is gone,

shining, brillante,

against shadows of cold piety

cast by dark, ringless Brides of the Lord,

before the hues of the day bleed away

into pale shades that

powder and crumble to dust

under the gravity of God’s thumb

(love).

Amen.


*Line taken from Robert Frost’s “Nothing Gold Can Stay” (1923).

The Spaces In Between

How clever I think I am,

pulling words from the air

like rabbits from top hats

to set them ablaze,

across pages

and ravage their pristine virginity.

I bleed.

I sweat.

I shed tears upon reams

so you can feel what I can

no longer.

Here I am

ground down to the gristle,

my passions splayed out–

spread-eagle–

for all to see,

to get…or not.

So, what is this thunder

that tears through my chest

and rattles the brain,

still?

The steely determination of memory—

its greedy clutch—

keeps my cup half-full

with unpotable waters.

Emotions—

all but chemicals—

a drop too much,

a drop too little—

rage and fade along with the dying of the day.

Recollections,

the moving pictures

of my silent film,

continue to linger

like birthdays

and the need to breathe,

hungry for hints of light

that pour in from doors left ajar,

for recognition

by the lonely eyes

of morning and evening skies.

The gravity of my verse is diminished

by blood-letting shades

that haunt the spaces in between

ecstatic bodies of black ink.

But for the raging

of my muse’s vanity

these scribblings bring solace

and succor to my soul,

as I suckle at the raw teats

of my poetry,

Longing

for an empty cup.