cruel world

Icarus, Blind

PBrueghelElderIcarus

I made wings from a frame of
broken promises, covered in
sticky, black glue of disappointment, and, finally,
feathers of long-extinct lovebirds.

The day approached to fly, fly
and each morning I looked into to the sun,
imagining how it would feel to be
underneath
in air not suffused with guilt
and expectation.

But I looked into the sun
one too many times.

The day arrived to fly, fly
and I —
blind —
could find my way through the sky
only by the warmth on my back.

And it felt so good
after all that cold
hard
stone
to be so warmed
that I scarcely noticed
the small splash I made.

And I sank,
blind,
knowing the touch of wind
and freedom
was enough, enough.

broke

broken-wing

I got enough.
I got all I need.
Got strong legs to hop
Got pointy beak to peck
Got sharp eyes to hunt
and a field full of grubs.

Said the broke-wing raven

Flight’s overrated.
There I was, aloft
and wham
here I am.
Friends up there in the trees
spending all that energy.
Don’t need nobody.
Don’t need no one.

Said the broke-wing raven

It’s all good.
Y’all go on without me.

 

Evva

Dale obit

Pardon me, my dearest friend,
while I for two minutes make your death about me.

Because they didn’t tell us our friends would die.

Maybe his friend, or hers, or theirs,
Maybe my mom’s and dad’s,
then my dad
then my brother.

But our tribe, the ones we choose, the ones
we lounge about laughing at dumb teevee with,

the ones who teach us to cross-country ski,
and always get us the perfect gift
and agonize with over yet another pair of shoes

And then cry with and
move away from and
who never listen to our excellent advice
nor we theirs,

the ones whose cores are so strong
forged in the fire of abuse, loneliness, and
unspeakable sorrow,

they

you

were supposed to prevail.

Because goddamnit

It’s all about me.

Border

flauta-de-paniagua

 

Light captured
in blown dust
makes a timbral ping,
plucked from air.

Thud of a boot
landing from on high,
a softer thump
than a running heart.

The hollow hoot
of a wind-blown bottle
Less lonely than the runner
Emptied of home and hope.

 

Please visit http://bordercantos.com/
Richard Misrach and Guillermo Galindo

Blessings on Pharoah

As the Israelites departed Egypt, it is written,
Pharoah asked Moses for a blessing.

Godmade mutant nature had
creeped fell hopped
flew flowed erupted
festered gnawed bit
until Pharaoh said “Let me go. By my gods and your One God, let me go.”

We will never know
what transpired between them,
Moses with his pack and stony coins of bread,
sandals untied from his haste to begone;
Pharaoh with eyes red and cheeks sunk in sorrow.

They must have heard the deafening silence outside,
broken by a lonely bleat, a sob, a slamming door.

I like to think Moses raised an eyebrow
and took his leave,

Pharoah wondering if that’s the form
this new evil god’s blessings take,
or if he had already been blessed
tenfold.

john-martin-the-seventh-plague-of-egypt

 

 

Headlights (for Becca)

The road before seemed light
enough,
highbeams snicked to lowbeams,
clear lines to follow right
and center.

A glance, a smile exchanged
(seconds, no more), and the night
clicked to sadness.

We watched the sight dim in its eyes.

Nothing to be done
but drive on,
blinding all oncomers
with unwavering brights.

Letter to a childhood friend

Dear one,
Who would have thought
as cute little kids
that we could turn on ourselves
in such a way. The world
is cruel enough, but wayward chemicals
in vulnerable brains
can be much crueler indeed.

I can offer no sage advice, only
well-practiced prayers
for peace in mind,
a quiet place to settle,
and only as much self-chosen adventure
as you can stand.

Love
Deb