Thin linen and wine
spilling as lips entwine;
thin linen and blood
opening like a crimson rosebud.
Unwillingly willed into the world
with scalpel splitting the swollen womb,
bawling in blood, a seedling unfurled
into the bright lights of the operation room.
I have always been a man of two minds,
like clouds painted on one side with dawn’s light
and the other by the shadows of fleeing night,
glad for sunrise, but peeking from behind dark blinds.
Iris And Arke
I see a young man, wan and wasted
as if he has never in his life tasted
a blushing woman’s happy bloom
and thinking him such, I assume
that he would be healed by kisses,
and I say so, but he merely dismisses
the idea. “I have had enough flowers
in my lifetime.” He then glowers
as a woman passes by, the iris of her eye
upturned, searching toward the sky.
“See?” he says, “another dandelion
turning her petals toward the high sun,
yet what am I?” He looks like the moon
paling and fading in the midday noon.
“Were it darker they would really know
my worth, my beauty, my luminous glow.”
And I tell him that it is with borrowed light
taken from a more radiant sight;
that they would know him a thief, a liar
dressed in the habit of a much greater fire.
I then turn away from the mirroring waters,
embittered by thinking of Thaumus’s daughters
born to love the sun, not the waning moon,
and the paradise of flowers grown from fortune
of rays and rain and the clouds gathering to the sun
while rainbows straddle the broad-breasted horizon.
But then again, is there not, too, a moonbow
which, wreathed around my own dreaming glow,
crowns me with my own worthy Iris?
Oh, that is not she, but her twin sister, by my guess
that wingless daughter, Arke, thrown from her nimbus
for having forsaken the high ideals of Olympus,
and now, free again, throws her lot in with the night
and the bitterness we both know, having no true light
of our own, but being the phantoms of a more beloved child,
and so I give to her some of my light, however mild,
and she embraces my orbit, my heart, whenever it rains
and we abide the family storms together, and all of their pains.