Her hand is a vanquished
castle of sand or cloud,
a hot breeze gone cold,
a heartbeat caressed by fingers
pressed upon a cadaver’s jugular.
Her eyes are a receding horizon
where mountain, fog, and sky
shut together like an eyelid,
and beyond them everything
is a dream, a memory, or both.
I see her voice in winter branches,
brittle, swaying in cold, unadorned,
but there is no sound, no rainbow
of syllables and consonants
to arch from my heart to my ears.
Do not think that she is dead;
Somewhere she walks and talks and dances
on streets I once traversed, when, so young,
I knew only to love torrentially, a passion
that rumbled like a freight train careening,
wheels and track ablaze, from my body to hers.
That I can no longer embrace her is my fault;
I am a welder who at times builds skyscrapers,
at times burns the city to the ground.
What am I to do? The carnivorous sun is honest,
she sets over a world of beauty and violent survival—
I attract and repel like some monstrous, moody moon.
Our friendship, our love is vanquished, yes.
The heavy curtain of time blots out the past
so that I may sleep in peace, but no—
I grow older. I mature. I make sense of myself.
Impulse wrestles with reason, dreams with reality.
I excommunicate anguish from adulthood, and the years
blithely pass me by. But then, by chance,
I wander and get lost, and stumble upon my banished pain.
We embrace, we convulse, we bleed,
and with our mingled blood I write of life and death.