Born to slavery and loss, she issued her war cry at birth. The master blithely named her Karma, but her mother worried about her refusal to cede to the whip. The love she gave was tender, the hate she gave was ferocious. And each day since she is born anew.
For whose killer kisses do homecoming queens in faded gowns and rotted corsages lament? For whose svelte limbs so athletically articulated in Porsches do they save a seat at Thanksgiving dinner? After the dream, what else but to dream anew?
Choking briar gave name to the north ingress as Bramble Pass, later unofficially changed to Scramble Pass. Too thick for sniper defense, it was lined with claymores hidden in the dirt to blast into scrap and sliver every marauder, mete feast for watchdogs and vultures.
Besotted by a fiery girl poet, a girl ghost mimics her features, gestures, and range of cadence–the rising and fading ripples of each word, inflection, and pause. She requires but a tendon–a sturdy structure–say, the poet’s flesh and bones to become her in the next slam.
The pregnant silence between two friends on a bus, a bond born of intimacies and lipstick shared, their simultaneous crack-ups in the face of the daily farce. / One dog-ears the racy pages of a romance for her friend. / The other contemplates a fresh start abroad.
The white sheets are dyed blue from a leak in the sleeper’s dreams. Her visible breath suggests a chill, an withholding of customary warmth. He’ll still be gone when she wakes. / Perhaps she’ll bleach the heartache from her room.
Our Museum of Human Monstrosity, of morphology gone wrong, warehouses torturous time. It’s measured in screams and materialized in specimens of insidious disease. Under hazy moons, we lower the remains of the uncatalogued and commonplace into a bottomless pit. (REF: The Mysterious Disappearance of Agnes des Anges.)
I’m last in the roster of Royal Honorables, and my fatigued blood flows gray. When visitors demand tribute I bow, and they hug me in their cloak of leathery wings until they’re sated with my poor fare. Always, I must bleed my caged rats to recoup my strength.
My cursed choices drove me into the forest where wind mimics the welter and screech of locomotives hugged by the rock of endless tunnels and wind’s absence amplifies the roar of savage beasts and more savage men. I would go home and make amends but made sure that I cannot. For it no longer exists.
Ballet is the art of becoming featherweight, blown onward (or backward) on a breeze in lock-step with a handsome prince. She doesn’t mind the rigor of training but the French words for jump–saute, jete, temps leve, assemble, and sissone–confuse her, and her rotten iPad won’t add the accents.
I imagine a run through new frights and possibilities. A case of macular degeneration or a simple refusal to see. Legally blind: it sounds like the worst but isn’t. It’s a suspended sentence of shadows, hard knocks, and aural vigilance. Do guide dogs come in hypo-allergenic colors?
The derelict theater was the favored squat of an out-to-lunch mob of hand-shadows who performed risky acrobatic moves on the stairs. The act went viral. Gawkers poured in, but the novelty staled when the four horsemen staged the ultimate apocalyptic reality show.
Extricated from a tall ebony tree stands a callipygian idol. Fruitful women with boy children kneel in prayerful worship. The less fortunate polish her limbs and tend to her daily appetites. Her seven hands cup sweet mangoes and dates; her seven wrists are garlanded with fragrant orchids.
In spring, the wood shakes with ecstasy. New leaves make love with rainbows, and the faeries emerge unkempt from hibernation. Sweet blueberries sing to all comers. Nectars scent the faeries’ nuptial beds, and a fawn cradled in ferns awaits the tread of its milk-fat dam.
Extinction accomplished by genetic warfare and atmospheric alterations, the Martian elite settled in deserted habitations. Their aural buds can’t register the creaks and groans under the floorboards or the squelch of amorphous Earth mutants easing through the cracks.
A reflection of the city’s ongoing lawlessness, that new phenomenon in the night sky. It’s the roll call of the day’s miscreants, complete with pixilated images. I must say, I like myself in negatives. Anyway, that’s not my name and they don’t know the half of it.
A child at the foot of the cliff on which nestled a full moon (yellow as a lion’s tooth), I waved at its dandelion flock and longed to live on that otherworld. Now, I see the moon’s bed was illusion, yet still its parachute seeds dance about the summit.
JANUARY 21, 2121 (PALINDROME DATE) / A celebratory snowfall before the inauguration, flakes of silver spinning sixpences tumbling to melt on the tongue and stick to a knitted scarf. A lacy filter thru which to glimpse new beginnings and past-due restorations. A cauterizing of our wounded hearts.
An unrequited love of death by storm: flash floods never drown me, tornados stop short, hard rain never sings my eulogy, hurricanes drop to category one, and blinding snow falls only when the fridge is full and the generator working. / Maybe better luck with lightning on a golf course?
It’s the habit of snow to heather the dormant beach in white and to frost the twinned silver birches, still young with slender purple branches. At noon thaw, these are laden with drupes of transparent water-fruit twinkling in the hush of sun and wind.
Hare tendons, vinegar mothers, fawns’ spots, and spiders’ eyes–a recipe to disinhibit memories of bygone trauma. Cecily held her nose, retched once, and chewed. Because her need to recall was acute. Yes. Her firing from Woolworth’s did kickstart her lifelong slide into oblivion.
An antique miniature portrait of a young courtesan, a Belladonna with vermilion cheeks and flawless pale face. Already dying, she’s got up in a lace ruff and powdered wig. Leeuwenhoek’s lens could detect the suppurating ooze behind her toxic mask of cinnabar and lead.
He wrought a chest of scrimshawed whalebone & locked it cunningly. Long it languished in his dank cellar. No memories escaped to remind him of their love, the feasts of kisses. Only the ambergris he set upon her breast remains. Its fragrance is unrelenting.
The fog deflects, breaks promises, and outright lies. To be sure, a familiar landscape is where it always was but beware the ethereal damsels of that eldritch gauze. Those sirens bend your steps wayward to doom and mermaids sing you to grottos of cold hard stone.
All his life an outcast in other men’s shoes, he endures frostbitten toes and eats in soup kitchens. Christmas shoppers brush by as he panhandles for change. He guesses there’s a canker in his soul, but solace too in the face of a summer flower.
Plump with summer sap and roots anchored deep and fast, the birch dances in soft breezes and gentle rains, but when her leaves flutter away like migrating butterflies, she borrows a coat of green moss and thus endures the bitter blasts and snows of winter.
Oh, to overturn history and still be here, having preserved what is just and kind and buried malice in toxic landfill so deep the bad elves with scalpel fingernails use it as a showground for gallows humor, slippery slides, tolling bells, and beetle crushers.
The church of the god of light is turned refuge for warriors of a dark god. Battle-weary, they squat silent among its pews and lick their bloodied palms for the last grains of the drug that dredged horrors from their souls and which no medicine was put back.
Earth’s axis shifted permanently and entire populations were drowned, burned, or buried alive. Sheer panic until mindfulness resumed with the age of portents: fowl disemboweled themselves, cats diagnosed cancer, squirrels pinpointed earthquakes, and dogs ate the dead.
Palms on that of a fortune-teller so ancient the gender is indeterminate, Lily raptly absorbs the news of a soul mate in the wings, a happy home, and baby in her arms. She grins. // She’ll visit another tomorrow. Her prognosis sugarcoated with hope is almost bearable.
A nova predicted for a galaxy heart star flares but blooms into a supernova’s celestial inferno. Professionals and thrill-seekers on observation ships are sucked into the maelstrom. The fortunes of those on Earth are more protracted and painful.
Fluffy pastel clouds are tethered to a crimson horizon where sailing ships once dropped off the rim and migrating birds now flame like Phoenixes. Bloodily consuming the landscape, the horizon draws ever closer. Our bunker offers us scant promise of another sunset.