Serial Romances

A trellis entwined with Virginia creeper
beneath a bower of Magnolias in bloom,
and a cold stone bench, upon which a breathless sleeper
lies in gossamers woven round from the moon’s loom.

Lights, like fireflies, on the Mississippi River
and hobnobbing drinkers, each kissing wine-stained glass
while a socialite with pearls and curls is all aquiver
as a man with a black cravat exudes such class.

They abscond to a yard of dew-bejeweled tulips,
which, he claims, is part of his grand manor estate,
and while he lovingly pets her petticoat-petaled hips,
he tells her that their meeting is but divine fate.

She swoons with the climax of their moonlit meeting
and lies upon the bench, given up to all things
while he walks to the port city dock, thereupon greeting
his fellow passengers as the steamboat bell rings.

He glances back at the Creole city, so bright
with glowing globes festooned all along its French streets,
and fingers the pearls in his pockets, so smooth and so white
like the skin of a woman beneath parting pleats.

Standing on deck, he meets a lovely Southern belle
and she asks what he likes most about steamboat life.
He smiles, charmingly, and he bows, saying, “Mademoiselle,
I love plucking flowers at night,”—his grin a knife.

Tisiphone

Bullets beget bullets, thus,
as seeds to trees to seeds,
a violence which enslaves all of us
until murder, itself, breeds.

Pernicious pandemic of profiteers
pilfering the dead for a lucrative cause
and promoting a life of arrears
and chaos from order’s laws.

Your seeds bloom from fertilizer
afforded by endless blood debts
in the hearts of each survivor
who, aggrieved, never forgives or forgets.

And so the paradox bears fledglings
as fear and anger born of Love,
for the slain dead spread their wings
in every heart—hawk born of dove.

The Fury comes, serpent-haired and wild,
cloaked in blood and flayed skin,
raising Cain as Christ is exiled
and seeking vengeance against sin.

Each bullet is a snakebite
envenoming vendettas ever onward,
pursuing a perpetual fight;
cycles into cycles, culling the herd.

It is a cull to credit the coffers
for those whose creed is Fear,
prostituting the Fury with offers
of human sacrifice, year after year.

Behold the war to hereby become
king of the corpse mountain,
the rest of us desensitized, numb,
while blood gushes as a fountain.

Thoughts and prayers to the dead,
but offer blood to our new idol,
and a space in your heart, in your head,
subsuming all else dear and vital.

And join us beneath our beloved goddess
whose serpents bite their own tails—
her bandolier is but a bodice,
each bullet increasing its own sales.