This Week (Which is Every Week)

 

antisocialmedia

This Week (Which is Every Week)

 

Angry white folk, as usual,

defend the tenacity of margins,

wave orange and blue tatters

 

while nine men and women deliberate

the validity of the ring on my hand. Somewhere

in South Carolina, and beyond, some meditate:

 

What is forgiveness?

 

Nine gravestones are chiseled,

while the antisocial media argues

guns were never to blame.

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Introversion

Leaving me speechless ~ artist: Catrin Welz-Stein

Leaving me speechless ~ artist: Catrin Welz-Stein

 Introversion

You recede into the alcove
between silence and whisper,

calling out through your eyes: notice me
with the undercurrent of don’t judge me

as though one could preclude the other.
Your communion with quietude—

haunting, like the sweet cologne you apply
so meticulously: always twin nebulas before the mirror
before stepping through, head lowered.

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Burning Bridges

Burning-Bridges

Burning Bridges

 

Of course some deserved it. Some

didn’t, and it took years of wiping ash

from my soles to properly discern

one from the other (with any degree

of certainty). One was arson,

plain and simple, but without witnesses

no charges were ever filed. Thankfully,

no one was killed in the blaze, but crowds gathered

in the days it took to burn, voices cacophonous:

What a shame. Separate reasons. Another was covered,

weathered by decades of exposure to the elements,

but treacherous to cross. Nails stuck out

in the strangest places: rusty, jagged.

When the wind hit just right, it threatened

a collapse with every guttural creak and croak,

until one day one of the supports gave way—

after that, some called it a mercy. Sentimental

souls called it a tragedy. I called it closure.

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Three Stars, Banished from their Galaxies, Explode in Deep Space

stars2

Three Stars, Banished from their Galaxies, Explode in Deep Space

 

So the universe itself practices the art of exclusion.

From the bed of my truck, sixteen miles from the nearest stoplight,

I am without companionship but feel

 

anything but alone — a part of me mesmerized by fireflies

winking in and out between hickory branches

and their more constant cousins, so far beyond.

 

And it may just be the beer, but gradually the stars flicker in synch

with the stridulation of the crickets. Somewhere,

millions of light years away, someone sees

 

a black void overhead, bereft of stars

because their galaxy told their sun It’s not you, it’s me

so long before their life began. Imagine

 

how lonely it must be

if they lack lightning bugs.

 

 

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Indiana Humble Pie

pie

Indiana Humble Pie

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 26 unresolved arguments, preserved
  • Bourbon (substitutions not recommended)
  • 1 or more grudges, aged

Crust

  • Regrets, finely powdered
  • Introspection (several cups should suffice)
  • 1 friendship, finely diced
  • Assorted apologies

Instructions:

In a large skillet, peel and core the arguments; slice 1/8 inch thick. Toss

with enough bourbon to stagger a rhinoceros,

 

and let seep until saturated. Light a crucible beneath,

and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer,

 

but don’t let it go unattended. Eventually,

you’ll want to whisk in the grudges, but one at a time,

 

and stir slowly. They tend to curdle. Now

begin constructing the crust: preheat your memories. Gently

 

dust an ungreased baking pan with regret, and begin to work

in your introspection, occasionally adding enough

 

to remain pliable. Mold into a hollowed-out receptacle

worthy of containing the filling entirely, and cover.

 

Bake until softened, then remove and chill.

Serve over friendship. Apologize to taste.

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Bad Heart

Bad Heart

He just had a bad heart,

I was told, while still

young enough to think of one

as that shape

he would draw

on my birthday cards, with his chickenscratch

handwriting beneath: I love you

a bushel and a peck, and a hug

around the neck.

I could sense something unsaid was being said,

or maybe the other way around,

and as a student of the intricate southern shame-language,

I knew when not to ask things like,

What was so bad about it? Instead,

I wondered for years,

until things seemed to make sense.

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Rogue Planet

300px--Artist's_impression_of_the_free-floating_planet_CFBDSIR_J214947_2-040308_9_ogv

Rogue Planet

Orphan or interstellar nomad, you endure every label

as a singular voyager would. You venture near, sometimes

.

too close, and gravity burns, yes. Friction and inevitable

consequences for getting just close enough to feel

.

something. Anything but the cold embrace known

before, anything but the maddening silence. Even noise

.

comes as relief, when the cosmic winds howl hot

and strange against your outer layers, never penetrating

.

deep enough to harm the verdant inner surface, never quite

reaching. Your mountains rise, high as any other,

.

volcanic in origin, as usual. The clouds they have created

shield you well, but shields are double-sided. Yours

.

shadow the land

perhaps

longer than necessary.

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