Flight Feathers

They left us without wings,
expecting us to swim.
We were not the ocean,
though we were short-feathered.
We belonged to one sky
and not imitation.
We were marked for plumage:
body of a veiled cloud.
It was our blue birthright
to once brush its canvas,
and nest where we could dream.
When it was time to step,
being last, not seeing
where the others had flown,
the wind would not hold me.
I’d dreamed it red and full,
though all I found was sleep.

The Rose

For “No Spirit”

Thinking back on a rose
I gave you as novelty
to a love I’d known
only through flowers,
I wonder
had it withered
in my hand?
If not there,
when did the petals
fall like omens:
was Eden
more a nightmare then?
Was it the hearts
of others that bent
ours closer, or
some parting dream
that convinced us
of our mutual insecurity?

I know now that love
is not a flower.
Love is a shadow
in passing: a sparse moment
rarely noticed, barely kept.
It is not the past;
there is only love
for the past, for
what refuses to be changed.
Love is the moment changing
like the movement of the sun.
Had I known then,
I’d have dropped the flower,
and watched the orbit
of your heart instead.
Only then could I have danced
with shadows: seen roses
in your eyes.
But all is gone to memory now–
no room left to dream.

The Letter

For fear of feeling
sentimental, I burnt the letter
before the undressing.
It was not made for splitting:
seams holding body,
the vessel holding.

Her heart
was a rose or the thorns,
or maybe the blood
dripping like a wax seal
onto the page:

the inked initials phantoms,
two corners bent,
the fold already half undone
as if catching breath.

I did not wish to be opened:
words still have eyes,
and we still eyes
to receive them.

In leaving, you could not leave;
you could not bury ashes
and become them–to reveal them,
and so reveal me.

Home is now a phoenix
reborn only in embers:
what is uncovered
is only burnt again.

Meaning

We are fallen flags,
surrendered by outgrown colors
like convicted eyes grown heavy
with their past.
And yet, we remain:
painted by our shadows,
the toll of convulsion
too much for that open sky.
In the dust, all boots
step evenly beyond us:
nothing is holy laying
cross, dragging through the mud.
We are but fabric now.

Lo-Fi

found again
fallen lips
dripping near

like rainfall
humming soft
under moonlight

moonlit blue
one body
looking out

to nothing
seeing what
false motion

returns from
those lips
and dances

all alone
to a love
imagined

Broken Soil

The ground is not as whole as it once was before. The earth is irreparable now, its motion not lent toward stability but cascade. Its silence is kinetic, roaming like a dream given to lusting eyes, and retreating back into that carelessness when the soil begins to break. I am broken soil. They cannot see it, enraptured to those parting schemes: momentum they cannot begin to stop. They are blameless, but god how it feels to drift, waning in that effort to be known. It all breaks so easy. For me, love is just a place to be overlooked.

Dunkirk

The old world and its endless sand
reaching forever like a broken star.
That is what we must hold–
against the night in its divisions
marching on toward the beaches
of homeward dreams.

And to think, how a spitfire must look
against those breaking waves, and
what songs the propellers
may of sung to that silence
when the whirring stopped
and one song fell to three.

It is the song of lost fellows
that now roams that lonely sky.
It plays and plays, brooding
from the voiceless eyes
of unmatched shoes.

Yet still rings that call of hope:
we must go on,
white flag surrendered
only when there are none
left to see it buried.

Hope is a civilian horizon:
the promise of boredom, of love,
and the chance to embrace, as strangers,
the mutual uncertainty of this new world,
and maybe, more simply, find happiness
over dinner and a movie.

These are new eyes and new songs,
and though that ocean still swells
with the names of those voices lost,
they are reclaimed in victory,
despite its cost.

A Rose

I have an idea that Gatsby himself didn’t believe it would come, and perhaps he no longer cared. If that was true he must have felt that he had lost the old warm world, paid a high price for living too long with a single dream. He must have looked up at an unfamiliar sky through frightening leaves and shivered as he found what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world, material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about . . . like that ashen, fantastic figure gliding toward him through the amorphous trees.

-The Great Gatsby