Let us pollinate our minds tonight.
Let us spread our cerebral tapestries on
My yellowed ceiling like glow in the dark stars
That hung above my dreams from two to twenty-two.
We will peel each other open like old photo albums
Leaking sepia onto our fingers with each memory.
And when we are done, not even the morning can sever us
For between these sheets we have created our own galaxy,
Our own gravitational forces
Our own orbit.
Silver ice covered this purple fig
Heart, commanded to bear fruit no
Longer many winters ago, when
Selfish appetites stripped it bare of life
You braved the violent winter that year
Spun away the bitter cobwebs, the
Frozen sheen I had adopted as skin
In lieu of budding fruit devoured by cold
Darling, I know that after the frost
I will bear fruit one day.
But when we curl up against the draft
And you drape your sanguine aura
Over my gnarled, frozen shoulders
You have become the warmest winter I know.
You only love auburn leaves
Rusted by acidic chills of a premature winter
Do you mistake atrophy for beauty?
Your elusive propinquity
Discoverable only by the effect of gravity on my skin
The young fray under your fingers (you say)
Verdant eyes, fledgling spirits
Snap too easily under the ferocity of bitter acrylic frosts
You term ‘the violence of your affection’.
I found your love between winter duvets
The last autumn leaves waved their solemn palms, framed by ice
As you traced their journey on my splintered face.
There are so many details I can describe to you, but
to you, I am just white space.
I have found all the negatives of your life, stashed away in a dark room
you thought was locked by cerebral encryption
It is interesting what secrets you show to the dark
when you think a black box is your only witness.
while you were busy producing double exposures
with lovers who thought your images were faithful; unadulterated
I found your dark room. I prepared the chemicals.
Are you afraid what your negatives will reveal in the light?
I buried you last year.
Like Egyptian pharaohs, your
Funeral was a stately affair.
I embalmed all your memories
In polished urns detailing our
Sultry summers surrendered to oblivion
I painted my lips crimson, with
The life once in your veins
Your chafed heart, weary
Of loving too much in vain
Has its special jar amongst my shelf of
Expired hearts burst from futility and shame.
You said ghosts were cutouts of souls
Plastered onto the cornea of the living
All their visions have a hole the shape
Of a tenacious shadow bleeding the past
Into the present, reluctant to die.
I was like that to you, you complained
Little did I know
By burying you like a pharaoh,
You achieved immortality.
Even if your eternal life is
As a spectre in my retinas
Always present, like fuzzy eyeworms
Disappearing upon focus.
Yes, haunt my dreams tonight.
If I did not bid you to die
I would never have known
The saccharine bitterness of
Falling asleep every night to
This sweet somnolent lullaby.
My dear, I have lived my whole life
In a shell incongruous with my soul.
My shell, though speckled with normality
Conforming to Fibonacci’s perfection
Squeezed my fragile soul to deformity.
My dear, when you walked down the aisle
You married a woman in a man’s shell.
I lived in the constant betrayal of my body
Speaking truths to me, but they are not
The truths of my soul.
My dear, have you known all along?
The hormones in my shell whisper to my
Parasympathetic nerves, holding me prisoner
To the rabid expansion of my shell’s lusts
Ignoring my cloistered screams of agony.
My dear, though I have discarded this shell
For another that curves to my curves and
Dances to the rhythms of my quintessence
I still love you for your soul.
Do you love my soul? Will you love my body still?
Am I your wife? Are you still my wife?
Follow me down to the Blue Elm tree
Where the river babbles around your knees
There she waited for him, and him for me
Her eyes screamed ‘robbery, robbery, robbery’.
You remember her swirled in morning mists
As her hair swept over her wistful lips
Wading between the reeds, silent and swift
And in an instant gone was her silhouette.
Slipped upon white eggshell stones
Adorned by layers of moss overgrown
Her bones upon the water did float and roam
Lost to dancing iridescent foam.
If you look in the Blue Elm tree
Though gnarled and white its skin may be
There lies a man in the alcove, collecting debris
Waiting for her, and waiting for me.
Splayed open for all travellers to see
His bones as white as his beloved, deceased
Picked apart by ravens for their winter feast
Scarcely given a chance to bleed.
There will be a day you forget the Blue Elm Tree
But until then will you wait for me?
She lies in the water, transparent and free
He lies in his nook, in her thoughts and my dreams.